How To Keep Thrips From Biting Me

Leaving my garden with itchy body parts due to thrips made me search for how to keep thrips from biting me. But do you know what I discovered? Thrips are not actually biting me.

Want to know what they do? Read on! By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to protect yourself from these bothersome pests.


What are Thrips

Thrips are insects from the Thysanoptera order. They’re known for their harmful eating habits, mostly sucking plant sap by poking plant tissues with their special mouthparts.

Thrips cause damage to plants by creating spots on leaves, making leaves twisted or discolored, and even spreading plant diseases. These insects are often seen in gardens, greenhouses, and farms, where they are a cause for concern for farmers and gardeners.

Even though they’re small, thrips can reproduce quickly and become resistant to pesticides, making them hard pest to control.


What Does A Thrip Look Like?

How To Keep Thrips From Biting Me
Thrip insect

Thrips are tiny insects with thin bodies and wings that have fringes. They come in different colors like yellow, brown, or black, depending on the type.

They’re usually between 1 and 2 millimeters long, so they’re hard to see without a magnifying glass. Thrips have mouthparts that look like cones and are not symmetrical.

They use these mouthparts to feed on plant sap. Their bodies are long and narrow, which makes them look unique.


What Do Thrips Eat?

Thrips are herbivorous, which means they get their nutrition from plants. They can eat different parts of plants like leaves, flowers, and fruits.

When thrips feed, they damage the plants, causing issues like spots on leaves, twisted growth, and weaker plants. Sometimes, thrips can also spread viruses to plants, making them even sicker.


Read also: How To Get Rid Of Ants In Raised Garden Bed


Do Thrips Bite?

Thrips do not bite humans or animals. They mainly eat plants by piercing plant tissues and sucking out sap. But while thrips do not bite, they can still irritate the skin or cause allergic reactions in some people.

This is because their saliva contains proteins that trigger allergies. If you touch leaves with thrip saliva, it can lead to skin irritation or allergies. Thrips can also spread plant diseases, which can harm plants.


What Does Thrip Allergic Reaction Look Like?

How To Keep Thrips From Biting Me
Symptom of being allergic to thrip’s saliva

An allergic reaction to thrips can show up in different ways, such as skin irritation, itching, redness, and swelling. Some people might get small, red bumps or a rash where they touched thrips or their saliva.

In more serious cases, the reaction can cause hives, blisters, or even trouble breathing, though these severe reactions are uncommon. If you think you’ve been in contact with thrips or have an allergic reaction, wash the affected area with soap and water immediately. If symptoms don’t go away or get worse, it’s best to see a doctor.


Signs of Thrips Infestation

How To Keep Thrips From Biting Me
Thrip Damage on Plant

Signs of thrips infestation depends on the plant type and how bad the infestation is. But some usual signs to look out for are:

  • Stippling: Stippling is a common sign of thrips infestation. Thrips feed by piercing plant tissues and sucking out the contents, which can create small, silvery, or bronze-colored spots on leaves.
  • Discoloration: Infested leaves may turn pale, yellow, or silver in color due to thrips feeding damage.
  • Deformed growth: Deformed growth is another sign of a thrips infestation. Thrips feeding can lead to leaves, flowers, and fruits becoming distorted, twisted, or stunted.
  • Black fecal deposits: Black fecal deposits, known as “thrips shine,” can be a sign of a thrips infestation. Thrips excrete these dark, varnish-like feces, which are seen on leaves and other parts of the plant.
  • Silken webbing: Some species of thrips produce silk webbing on infested plant parts, which can be a sign of a severe infestation.
  • Presence of thrips: You might see thrips on the plant if the infestation is severe. They are small, slender insects.


Read also: What is Garden Care and Why It’s Essential for a Thriving Outdoor Space


How to Keep Thrips from Biting Me

Since thrips do not bite humans, there’s no need to worry about preventing them from biting you.

But to avoid skin irritation or allergic reactions from thrips’ saliva, it’s a good idea to wear gloves and long sleeves when dealing with or handling plants that might have thrips.

Also, washing your hands and skin after gardening or working with plants can help lower the chances of skin irritation.


More On How To Keep Thrips From Biting Me

Watch the video below for more information on thrips



Although thrips can be a nuisance for plants, they do not pose a direct threat to humans. So there is no need to worry about thrips biting you.

But you have to take simple precautions like wearing gloves and long sleeves when working with plants and washing your hands and skin afterward, to minimize the risk of skin irritation or allergic reactions.

And with the right precautions, you can protect both your plants and yourself from these small insects.


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