If you’ve tried to create a cozy little plant oasis in your home, you probably know the struggle of dealing with pesky thrips. They’re like tiny, annoying vampires that suck the life out of your plants. And if you don’t handle them with care, they can be a real pain in the butt.
We recently had a significant thrip infestation in our home, and I couldn’t believe how quickly those little buggers multiplied. Our beloved Monstera plant was the perfect breeding ground for them – it had all the nutrients and shade they needed to thrive.
So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and devise a battle plan to fight those suckers off. And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy, but we learned a lot in the process.
In this post, I want to share our tips and tricks for dealing with thrips and their larvae, so you can keep those little pests at bay for good.
What They Look Like and How to Identify Them on Your Monstera
Thrips might be tiny, but they can cause some serious damage to your beloved Monstera. With over 5,500 species, thrips can come in various colors and shapes.
But if you’re looking for them on your Monstera, you will likely find black or yellow ones.
One of the first signs of a thrips infestation is the presence of white to light green larvae on the underside of the leaves in larger concentrations.
As the larvae feed on the plant, they leave behind visible injuries that allow air into the interior of the plant cells.
This can cause affected plant areas to shimmer silvery white and result in significant growth disorders.
Don’t be fooled by their small size – these winged insects can grow up to 0.12 inches (3mm) long, and their life cycle can last up to 45 days.
During that time, they can lay hundreds of larvae in your Monstera leaves, quickly turning into a full-blown infestation if left untreated.
So, how can you identify thrips on your Monstera before it’s too late? Watch for small, black, or yellow bugs that move quickly and fly away when disturbed. If you see any signs of these little pests, you must act quickly to prevent them from spreading.
By knowing what thrips look like and how to spot them on your Monstera, you can take steps to protect your plant and keep those pesky bugs at bay.
How to Easily Identify and Control Thrips on Your Monstera
Identifying the type of thrips that infest your crops is crucial for using the right insecticide to control them effectively.
Unfortunately, thrips are so tiny that it’s almost impossible to tell them apart from the naked eye. But worry not! Here’s a simple and effective way to identify them by appearance.
When you spot thrips on your monstera, grab a plastic bag with a zipper and capture the adult thrips from the leaves and shoots. Once you’ve captured them, seal the bag, and soak it in 50-60% ethanol.
Next, filter the ethanol through kitchen paper and use a high magnification loupe (20x or more) to examine the captured thrips.
Additionally, you can use a colored adhesive plate to capture adult thrips since they are attracted to the color blue.
Remember, a microscope is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis. So, next time you notice these tiny pests on your crops, take action and use this simple method to identify them, and you’ll be on your way to controlling them effectively.
|Kinds||Female body length (mm)||Body color||Other features|
|Western flower thrips||1.3-1.7||Yellow (summer) to dark brown (winter)||Body color changes with temperature and season|
|Frankliniella intonsa||1.3-1.7||brown to dark brown||Fewer larvae in winter|
|Yellow thrips||0.7-1.0||yellow||Wing base in the shape of a “C|
|Yellow thrips||1.2-1.4||yellow,||Black streaks on the back.|
|Onion thrips||1.1-1.6||Yellow (summer) to brown (winter)||Body color changes with temperature and season|
How Thrips Infest and Damage Your Monstera Plant
Thrips may seem like harmless tiny creatures, but don’t be fooled by their size. These suckers are like the vampires of the plant world!
They drain the precious juice of your beloved monstera by pressing their mouths against the leaves and puncturing them with needle-like organs, injecting saliva, and simultaneously sucking out the plant’s vital juices.
It’s like a straw but with added twist and turns! Those thrips sure have some mad skills!
But wait, there’s more! Once thrips have made their move, they lay their eggs in the tiny hole they created, and the larvae feast on your plant’s juices for up to five days. That’s like a never-ending happy hour for them!
The damage doesn’t stop there. These sneaky critters leave whitish spots on the leaves, gradually turning brown or scabbing over.
When they mess with the shoots, the new leaves come out all funky and curved, like they’re doing leafy yoga.
Even the fruit gets attacked, leaving it looking brown, scabby, and unevenly shaped. Those fruit-freak thrips just can’t resist a good meal!
Signs of Thrips Infestation on Your Monstera: What to Look Out For
If you suspect that your Monstera plant might be suffering from a thrips infestation, there are several telltale signs to look out for.
Although thrips are tiny insects that can be hard to spot with the naked eye, they leave visible marks on the leaves.
- Yellow spots and black specks, actually excrement, are common indicators of thrips on the leaves’ top and underside.
- Additionally, you might notice small white or yellow larvae on the leaves or wilting leaves in severe cases.
You can try a simple trick if you’re still unsure whether your Monstera is infested with thrips.
Hold a sheet of white paper underneath a Monstera leaf and tap the leaf surface a few times. Some tiny bugs should fall onto the paper if your plant is infested with thrips.
In my experience, when thrips infested our Monstera plant, it was a widespread issue we could see without any magnifying tools.
As you can see in the picture, the larvae settled on the left in large numbers. Remember to check the underside of the leaves as well, as thrips tend to congregate there.
With these tips, you can identify and tackle a thrips infestation before it causes too much damage to your beloved Monstera.
Effective Ways to Get Rid of Thrips on Your Monstera Plant and Beyond
Dealing with a thrips infestation can be a frustrating experience, but there are several methods you can use to combat these tiny pests.
It’s important to remember that if you’ve spotted thrips on your Monstera, they may have already spread to other plants in your home. So, any method of combating thrips should be applied to all your plants.
Here are some effective methods to fight thrips:
- Use yellow or blue fly traps to catch adult thrips before they can lay eggs and multiply.
- Apply insecticidal soap to the leaves of your plants. This will suffocate the thrips without harming your plant.
- Try using neem oil on your Monstera leaves. Neem oil has insecticidal properties that can help deter thrips.
- If some leaves are heavily infested, consider pruning them off. This can help to contain the infestation and prevent it from spreading further.
Using these methods consistently over a longer period ensures that the thrips are eliminated and do not return.
1- How to Effectively Eliminate Thrips with Fly Traps
The principle behind this method is simple yet effective. Thrips are attracted to the bright colors of yellow or blue traps and get stuck to the sticky surface.
You can find these traps at any garden store, which are quite affordable. And the best part? You don’t need to place them right next to the leaves. Putting them in the potting soil of the plant is sufficient.
We use a fly trap for about every 5th plant, as thrips are very active and tend to move around searching for new habitable plants. If your plants are far apart, use a fly trap for each pot.
It’s important to note that thrips are usually a multi-generational household. This means that even if you successfully trap the adults, there are likely many larvae that have not hatched yet.
So, using fly traps consistently over a longer period is essential to eliminate all thrips.
2- How Insecticidal Soap Can Help You Win the Battle Against Thrips
Insecticidal soap can be a game-changer in the fight against these pesky pests. Unlike other harsh insecticides, insecticidal soap is a more natural and safe option for your plants.
When used correctly, it can effectively destroy thrips on your Monstera. The soap dehydrates the pests on contact, including the larvae on the leaves.
To use insecticidal soap, ensure you’re thoroughly informed about the application beforehand. You can find detailed information about the mixing ratio on the back of the container or from the manufacturer.
When spraying the leaves, cover the entire plant, including the underside of the leaves. Remember, thrips tend to hide on the underside of the leaves.
Repeating the procedure every two days is important until the infestation is eliminated.
And here’s a tip: spraying the plants in the morning or evening hours is best when the insecticidal soap is most effective. During the warm midday hours, the liquid evaporates too quickly on the leaves.
3- Neem Oil – A Natural Remedy to Fight Thrips
If you looking for a natural way to get rid of thrips on your Monstera plant? Look no further than neem oil – an effective and harmless plant remedy.
Neem oil is made from the seeds of the neem tree and acts as a natural repellent against insects. It’s a staple tool for insect control and is highly effective against thrips.
When used correctly, it’s harmless to your plants and won’t allow other pests to spread in the moist soil substrate.
For us, neem oil is the go-to remedy in the fight against thrips. You can spray it on the leaves and mix it into the watering water.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and adjust the mixing ratio accordingly.
Once mixed, spray the solution on the leaves of your Monstera plant and observe how the plant reacts over the next few days.
If the leaves are undamaged after the first application, spray the neem oil every two days. Remember to spray the top and bottom of the leaves to ensure that the neem oil works effectively against the insects.
Spraying your Monstera in the morning or evening hours is recommended to ensure that the neem oil doesn’t evaporate too quickly.
3- Saying Goodbye to Severely Damaged Leaves on Your Monstera
Dealing with a severe thrips infestation on your Monstera plant can be disheartening, especially when the leaves have already suffered significant damage. But sometimes, cutting off the affected leaves can be the best course of action.
By removing damaged leaves, you allow the Monstera to conserve its energy and focus on healthy growth.
Damaged leaves are also more susceptible to further pest infestation, and there’s a high chance that some thrips larvae are still inside.
If you’re planning to cut off some leaves, make sure you have the following ready:
- Gloves to protect your skin from the Monstera juices that can irritate
- Sterilized secateurs to prevent the spread of pathogens on the plant
To remove damaged leaves, follow these steps properly:
- Put on the gloves to protect your skin.
- Sterilize the secateurs to prevent the spread of any pathogens.
- Examine the leaves and identify any with yellow or brown spots. These leaves will need to be removed.
- Cut a damaged leaf as close to the nearest node as possible. Cut slowly around the stem to avoid crushing any healthy parts of the Monstera.
- Remember not to compost the removed leaves, as thrips feel very comfortable in compost.
Removing severely damaged leaves can help your Monstera recover and thrive. Just make sure to take the necessary precautions and follow these steps carefully.
Keeping Thrips and Other Pests at Bay – Tips for Prevention
Are you tired of dealing with thrips and other pests on your plants? Prevention is key; you can keep these pesky bugs at bay with a few simple measures.
To prevent thrips from infesting your plants, consider these tips:
- Clean your Monstera’s leaves regularly to remove any dirt or dust that may attract thrips.
- Remove any fallen leaves from the ground early to prevent thrips from using them as a breeding ground.
- Always have a few fly traps on hand to catch any thrips flying around.
- Be on the lookout for thrips and act early if you spot any signs of infestation.
Check out my other article that reveals effective methods for eliminating common bugs on Monstera.
Clean Leaves and Prevent Pests: A Simple Step to Thrips Control
Are you struggling to keep thrips away from your Monstera plant? Keeping the leaves clean and free from dirt and dust effectively prevents thrips from taking over.
Thrips thrive on dirty leaves, where they can easily hide and reproduce. If your Monstera’s leaves are very dirty, it’s a sign that you need to take care of your plant more intensively.
I’ve learned this lesson the hard way – by neglecting to clean our Monstera’s leaves regularly, I allowed thrips to reproduce unhindered and multiply explosively.
To prevent this from happening, it’s best to clean the leaves with a damp cloth once a week. This way, you can get rid of any thrips or other pests early on before they have a chance to cause significant damage.
Be sure to clean the underside of the leaves regularly, too, as thrips tend to hide there.
With this simple tip, you can keep your Monstera healthy and thriving, free from the annoyance of thrips and other pests. Give it a try and see the difference for yourself!
To Prevent Thrips, Ensure That The Soil Is Clear of Any Foliage
Did you know that thrips can easily thrive in decaying vegetation found in soil? That’s why it’s essential to keep the soil of your Monstera free from weeds and foliage.
To prevent thrips from breeding in your Monstera’s soil, clear away any debris or foliage at least once a month. This simple step can go a long way in keeping your plant healthy and free from thrips.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to loosen the soil to improve drainage. This will not only help prevent thrips infestations, but it’ll also promote healthy root growth.
Using Fly Traps as an Early Warning System for Thrips
Worried about thrips infesting your plants? Setting up temporary fly traps can serve as an early warning system and help you catch any thrips before they can do significant damage.
We’ve found that placing at least two fly traps in each room where we keep our plants can help catch thrips early. However, with about 20 plants per room, thrips can easily hide from view.
While a single fly trap per room may not provide complete protection, it can be an early warning system against thrips. As thrips multiply, a few will eventually reach the fly trap.
By regularly checking the traps, you can catch any thrips early and take action to prevent a full-blown infestation.