Garden Pests Series: T…

Thoughts and musings

Garden Pests Series: T…

Lewis | May 8, 2015 | 0 Comments

…is for Thrips.

There was no Garden Pests Series blog posts yesterday; it fell on the back-burner during a very hectic day! But it returns today with the letter ‘T’ edition. It surely isn’t long now before this series draws to a close, with only six more issues after this one. They have been very well-received by our regular readers, those connected with us on social media and Oakleigh Manor staff alike! If you’d like to relive some of the the previous posts, click here to see the Garden Pests Series of blogs all together. However, for the here and now, this bog post will focus on a very common garden pests: thrips.

You may well know thrips by another name, perhaps thunderflies or thunderbugs. They have received this colloquial names through the fact that they swarm together during thundery conditions. As a result, they are more common during the Summer months, preferring dry conditions and warmer temperatures. Despite being small, the indications of their presence in your garden is pretty visible. As thrips feed on plant sap through upper cells, they can leave silver patches on leaves, just like the featured photo for this blog post. Aside from this indication, small black spots can appear on leaves, flower petals can turn brown and recent plant growth can be distorted. It is also likely, despite being 2mm or less in length, that you will see swarms of them during the Summer. If you notice any of the above, please do take action; thrips can affect virtually all plants – from ornamental species to crops – have the capability to transmit viruses, such as the tomato spotted wilt virus.

By way of said action, there are a number of things you can do if your garden is being affected by thrips. By way of chemical treatment, products containing pyrethrins and methiocarb ingredients are known to be effective. However, as we point out all the time, always read the label and take the necessary precautions. On the other side of the coin, organic means are also known to be effective. For one, you can release predators to the thrip into your garden, or you can spray organic plants oils that have been approved for use on plants in your garden. Alternatively and probably a recommended treatment option, you can do the ‘leg work’ and remove and destroy any affected plant matter, particularly the silver patchy areas.

Finally, if like any conscious gardener, you would like the best chances of preventing a thrip infestation in the future, please remember to clean our green house thoroughly at the end of the season to disturb overwintering thrips, use blue sticky traps to monitor their first appearance and using barriers between plants like netting. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; they are supremely common, so the likelihood is you will have a few buzzing around your garden plants during the Summer, so take our advice now!



Photo credit: <a href=””>Scot Nelson</a> / <a href=””>Source</a> / <a href=””>CC BY</a>