How to recognize greenhouse thrips

Adult greenhouse thrips are approximately 1.5mm long and females are slightly larger than males. The females live 30–40 days and lay 50-70 eggs.The body is darkly colored with a lighter section at the end. They have lightly colored legs and antennae. The wings form a light band with a longitudinal darker white section. Larvae are yellow, with lightly colored legs and antennae. Characteristic features of the greenhouse thrips are the striking colored droplets (excrements) that they carry from their abdomen. Over time, the droplets will fall and form small and sticky black spots on the leaves. 

Greenhouse thrips damage and distribution

Greenhouse thripsare mainly a leaf dwelling species. Adults are usually found on the upper side of the leaves, while larvae are found in groups on the underside of the leaves. Both larvae and adults are not very mobile, but when disturbed, they will move. All stages tend to aggregate on the leaves. Greenhouse thrips damage looks like silver-gray spots on the leaf with black dots in it, which are thrips feces. During heavy infestation they damage the entire leaf surface, causing withering and early drop of leaves. In some crops, also fruits are attacked by greenhousethrips, which causes necrotic spots.

  • Greenhouse thrips life cycle

    parthenogenetic reproduction
    males are rare
    eggs in leaf, covered with 'lid'
    50-70 eggs per female
    development time 35-40 days
    several generations per year

  • Greenhouse thrips host plants

    many plants are sensitive to this pest
    mostly subtropical host plants
    Dracaena, Codiaeum

  • Greenhouse thrips immature up close

  • Greenhouse thrips adults and immatures