Thrips in Vegetables

Most thrips species eat juices from plants, flowers and vegetables. Thrips are considered major pests at fruit and vegetable farms. Onion thrips and western thrips are the two most aggressive destroyers of onion crops, although they also feed on cereals. Gladiolus thrips, on the other hand, are attracted to large bulb-based plants such as gladiolus, lilies, amaryllises, irises, etc.

The season during which an infestation occurs can dictate the severity of crop loss: if infestation occurs within an onion crop late in the season, loss will be less significant than in an attack which occurs during bulb stage or midseason. Damage from thrips renders crops unmarketable, so some farmers choose not to grow plants that attract thrips. In turn, the cost of these fruits, grains and vegetables increases for consumers.

Depending on the species, different treatments may be effective. If thrips are invading your home, inspect the plants in the vicinity for infestation. Plants that have already been infested by thrips are most effectively treated through the use of an appropriately labeled pesticide.