Red-banded thrips (Selenothrips rubrocinctus) were first formally recorded in Guadalupe, West Indies, after causing significant damage to local cacao farms. Today, red-banded thrips are common in tropical areas around the world, including in the United States.
Red-banded thrips are similar in size to other thrips species, measuring approximately 1.2 mm in length. Female red-banded thrips are slightly larger than males. If environmental conditions are favorable, they can complete their life cycle in approximately three weeks. Red-banded thrips can produce many generations each year.
Red-banded thrips can be found in or around fruits, trees, woody shrubs and vines. They are particularly attracted to young foliage and are known to cause damage to avocado, mango and cacao crops. The feeding habits of red-banded thrips result in fruit discoloration, leaf and vegetable damage and a trail of sugary excrement, which causes the growth of mold. Red-banded thrips can cause severe and widespread damage in infested areas.
Many methods have been developed to control red-banded thrips populations, including natural control methods and the use of target pesticides.