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How to Get Rid of Thrips For Good!


by Nebula Haze

What Does Cannabis Thrip Damage Look Like?

Thrips are small, fast-moving insects and can come in many forms, from pale wormy looking things to dark winged insects, depending on the stage of life and where you live.

They pierce cannabis leaves with their mouths and suck out all the good stuff, leaving shiny (sometimes people thing it looks slimy), silver or bronze spots wherever the leaves were bitten. The spots are bigger and more irregularly shaped than the bites left from spider mites. If it goes on too long the affected leaves may start dying.

Examples of thrips damage on marijuana leaves (irregular silver or bronze spots)

Closeup of a marijuana leaf with thrip damage - slimy looking spots on the leaves aren't caused by slugs or snails

Example of the silver or bronze spots on cannabis leaf caused by a thrips infestation

Closeup of the thrip damage on leaves - cannabis leaves get irregular shaped spots wherever the thrips bite

Although it doesn't really look like it in pictures, in real life thrip damage has been described as looking like "dried spit" or tiny snail trails.

Marijuana thrips leaf damage - silver or bronze spots that can eventually take over the whole leaf!
(thrip leaf damage pics by theMallacht)

Example of thrip damage on a cannabis leaf - spots on leaves

Another example of cannabis leaves that have been attacked by thrips

Here's a picture of an adult thrip on a finger for scale - they're tiny!

Cannabis thrip on finger for scale

Dark thrip adult - closeup on a marijuana leaf

They can appear dark colored like the ones above, but also yellow, transparent or golden

Example of a young thrip that doesn't have wings yet

They can appear with or without wings, depending on their stage of life

Yellow/pale version of a thrip - get rid of this cannabis pest ASAP!

In their "nymph" (juvenile) form, thrips appear pale, fat and almost wormy from afar

A thrip in "nymph" form, it looks a lot like a tiny worm

A closeup of another baby thrip in "nymph" form

A thrip in nymph form - see a closeup of this common marijuana pest!

A Thrip nymph on a cannabis leaf - I hope this helps show you how tiny they are. 

Thrip nymph on cannabis leaf for scale - looks like a tiny worm!

A thrip nymph looks tubular and worm-like, unlike an aphid nymph which looks like a tiny white bug

This round, tiny worm-like nymph on a cannabis leaf is a sign of thrips! Get rid of them ASAP before they colonize your plants!
 

Proven Thrip Remedies
 

Get Inseticidal soap to kill cannabis aphids - available on Amazon.com!

1.) Insecticidal soap

Fatty acid salts or insecticidal soaps can be a good choice against thrips. They weaken the outer shell of thrips but are safe to use on your plants and they don't leave much of a residue.

With soaps, coverage is very important as it does not stay on your plant for long, so follow-up applications may be necessary. Although this is considered safe, avoid getting any on your buds!

 

2.) Neem Oil

Neem Oil will leave an unpleasant taste/smell on buds when used to treat flowering plants, so don't let this stuff get near your buds! There's also some evidence Neem oil may be harmful to humans so use with care! That being said, Neem oil is an all-natural remedy that is very effective against many different types of bugs and mold. You will need a mister (also called a "One-Hand Pressure Sprayer") to spray all the leaves evenly, since neem oil and water can separate easily.

Get Neem Oil Extract on Amazon.com!A One-Hand Pressure Sprayer is perfect for misting plants

 

3.) Spinosad Products 

Spinosad products are organic and unlike many other thrip pesticides, completely harmless to pets, children, and plants. Unlike many insecticides, you can spray spinosad heavily on leaves and roots with basically no negative effects. Spinosad products can be used directly to kill thrips on contact, but can also be used when watering plants to systematically kill thrips via the roots. Spinosad is also effective at fighting caterpillers, spider mites, and many other marijuana pests.

Can be used both as a topical spray, and can also be used directly at the roots. Spinosad is an organic insecticide made from the fermentation of a specific soil bacteria (actinomycete Saccharopolyspora spinosa) and kills thrips via ingestion or contact by effecting the insect nervous system. Spinosad can be a good choice for organic and outdoor growers, because it is very toxic to thips, but is less toxic to many beneficial insects.

Note: Most spinosad products are effective for only about 24 hours after being mixed with water, so only mix as much as you will need per application. Anything left over will be waste.

Recommeded: Monterey Garden Insect Spray with Spinosad
Spinosad products are organic and kill spider mites, caterpillers and thrips

 

4.) Pyrethrins

Pyrethrin based insecticides are not very toxic for humans and degrade quickly, which is why they're commonly recommended for vegetable gardens. You will need a mister (also called a "One-Hand Pressure Sprayer") to spray all the leaves evenly.

Pyrethrin products break down quickly, over the course of just a day or two. The major problem with them is they are very toxic to bees. Although cannabis plants generally don't attract a lot of bees, please use this as a last resort, and also try to use it right after the sun goes down because bees sleep at night. This lets it start to break down before they wake up.

Use pyrethrin products when the sun goes down! Save the bees!

A popular example is Bonide 857 Pyrethrin Spray Concentrate. Use 3 tablespoons of concentrate per gallon of water.

Get Pyrethin products like Bonide on Amazon.com to kill your leafhoppers!A One-Hand Pressure Sprayer is perfect for misting plants

 


 

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