It’s summer and with the hot weather and the windows open, thrips are making a comeback! Don't think they only come into your house through newly acquired plant friends, these little buggers are everywhere.
How do you know your monstera has thrips?
As these buggers are super tiny and very hard to spot, it is important to check your plants regularly for thrips damage, rather than for the thrips themselves. Often the affected plant is beyond saving by the time you see the thrips walking over it in triumph.
If there is an orangy yellow hue on the leaf (before turning brown), and you can see tiny spots (often on the back of the leaf), you should stop wondering what is wrong with your plant. That is 100% thrips.
We have seen a LOT of plants being misdiagnosed as overwatered, underwatered, nutrient deficient,… while it was pretty clear what was happening.
The earlier you spot the damage, the better!
How can you prevent a thrips plague?
Writing this post was a lot harder than we anticipated. So many people, so many opinions…
Preventing thrips is not the easiest thing in the world, and our biggest tip is actually to keep a close eye on your plants, so you can intervene at the first sighting of any thrips damage.
If you treat your plants regularly with neem oil, it is possible however to keep the little rascals at bay. This means that you wipe the leaves and stems of your plants at least once a week with a solution of neem oil, water, and soap.
Feel free to tell us what you do to prevent thrips, as we are always open to learn new tips and tricks ourselves!
What if you already have a thrips plaque on your hands?
What can you do once it is clear that your plant is being eaten by thrips?
We don’t claim that our solution is the only one that works, not by far, but in our experience it’s a good one, especially if you go in with Spinosad right away.
In the greenhouse, we try to keep the thrips at bay with predatory mites, but once we see several plants that have damage, we can’t rely on this solution anymore and we have to treat the whole greenhouse with Spinosad.
Once the situation is under control, we go back to prevention of course.
Neem oil is a great way to prevent thrips, but it has to be applied at least once a week, and we have just way too many plants to go and wipe all the leaves with a neem oil solution ;)