THRIPS – (Thysanoptera.)
Thrips have two main features. Firstly, their name is always plural. Secondly, they are one of the worst problem bugs we can get. Thankfully thrips are somewhat uncommon. Not rare just uncommon. These minute and thin bugs multiply rapidly and they crawl and fly making them a nightmare to any houseplant enthusiast or cannabis grower. Thrips are somewhat unique in that in some species they can lay eggs asexually. One female Thrips can be responsible for 2,000 thrips in just one year. The exponential growth of that means one thrips can lead to tens of thousands in months. Feeding on the sap in the leaves and stems thrips can be found on nearly any plant. A single thrips is a voracious feeder, a colony is devastating. Defoliating a plant by massive, sustained damage to the leaves. This leaves the plant weak, stunted, and susceptible to other pests and disease.
Fast moving and able to hide in tiny crevices make most chemical sprays extremely ineffective and inefficient. Until now the most proven way to rid yourself of these pests was to pick them off by hand and squish them. Pruning the worst hit areas or spraying the plant down with water are commonly used techniques. However, this will never come close to getting all of them and with the speed they multiply often seems like an exercise in futility. In most cases, sadly, people are often forced to discard the plant, or in most cases plants.
Golden Acre was so excited when we found these new predator bugs. As gardeners ourselves we have all faced the thrips before and had to help a customer or colleague who was plagued by these tiny beasts. We have sourced a few options to eradicate the thrips by bringing the fight to them. The beautifully named Orius insidiosus is a pirate bug. From the order Hemiptera they are considered a true bug. If you have thrips, you may consider them a true angel. A voracious hunter one Orius can kill up to 80 thrips a day but will only eat 2-3. They are the only biocontrol that will kill and eat adult thrips as well as the eggs and larvae. Amblyseius swirskii are a predatory mite that breed quickly. They can thrive in a wide range of temperatures and are insatiable in their hunt for thrip larvae.
These non-invasive species are 100% natural. Incredibly efficient. Safe to use on any crop including cannabis. Are completely safe for adults, children, pets, and wildlife. Play well with other predator bugs, so if you also have an issue with another type of pest that can also be dealt with. Read on below to find the right predator for your crops needs.