University of Florida

Chilli Thrips

Chilli thrips are tiny insects that often go undetected but can cause serious problems in the garden. These invasive pests feed on dozens of plants, including roses, citrus, plumbago, and Indian hawthorne. They attack all above-ground growth, but prefer young leaves, buds, and fruits.

Common symptoms include bronzed, curled, or stunted leaves. Infested plants decline over time, and severe infestations can cause total leaf loss.

You can check for chilli thrips by shaking plants over a white piece of paper. The thrips are light in color, with feathery wings and a dark stripe along their thorax.

A number of insecticides can be used to manage chilli thrips, including horticultural soaps. Always read and follow the label, and keep in mind that you may need to reapply.

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