Thrips can cause damage to indoor and outdoor plants without the right prevent strategy. Here is a guide on how to get rid of Thrips in Southern Maryland.
What Is the Threat?
Thrips are skinny insects with fringed wings. Fully grown, they only measure up to one millimeter in size. Immature nymphs are elongated and wingless.
These insects can come in many different colors, from off-white to black. They thrive by piercing leaves or flowers and sucking nutrients out of the cells.
Most of the time, they’ll drain one leaf and move on to the next. However, some can create distortions or “galls” in a leaf, where they’ll continuously feed and lay their eggs.
Thrips can go through multiple generations per year. This enables them to expand in population size at a rapid rate, causing severe plant damage. Some thrips species can act as virus vectors, causing and spreading widespread plant disease.
Where Is the Threat?
While thrips aren’t strong fliers, the wind can carry them a long distance. With the right conditions, these insects can amass into a large group and travel in swarms.
Due to this trait, you can find these pests throughout the United States. There is not a single region where their infestations are more concentrated than others.
Note that infestations of thrips are often swift and short-natured. As such, you may not always have to treat them with an insecticide unless they engage in prolonged feeding activity.
Symptoms of Thrips
Do you suspect that you might be dealing with an infestation of thrips? If so, it’s best to call a trusted local tree service for an official diagnosis.
In the meantime, it helps to know the common symptoms that they can trigger. One of the first signs you’ll notice are pale spots or stipples on the affected leaves. You can also see white feeding scars in the same location.
This condition is caused by the pest’s initial feeding cycle. It indicates the areas where their piercing mouthparts impacted the plant. In some cases, you may also notice hard, black feces in these areas.
If this is the case, then the feces can help distinguish thrips from aphids. Those pests cause destruction that is similar but do not leave fecal matter behind.
If you’re dealing with a species of thrips that causes galls (such as Cuban Laurel Thrips), then you may find that any new plant growth appears tightly rolled, instead of sprouting as normal. You may also find pod-shaped leaves near the tips of the infected branch.
What to Do About Thrips in Southern Maryland
As long as thrips are caught early, then a systemic insecticide injection treatment is usually effective. This will control thrips all season long, though you may need a more extensive approach if the population is vast or you wait to treat later in the season.
In those cases, a broader-spectrum insecticide can provide more comprehensive control. Some populations may even need both applications for total eradication. In either case, it’s best to apply the insecticide in the spring or fall, when plant transpiration occurs.
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