Updated at: 20-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Thrips are tiny black bugs that live on houseplants and can be a nuisance. This post will teach you everything you need to know about thrips, including their life cycle, habitat, food source, and the harm they bring. Afterwards, I’ll show you how to naturally get rid of thrips on indoor plants and keep them from returning.

Disappointing to discover thrips on houseplants. This pest isn’t only a nuisance; it may also inflict serious damage to your houseplants.

Thrips, a common insect in the garden, can enter your home and infest your houseplants. You know how frustrating it can be to try to get rid of bugs on houseplants if you’ve ever tried it.

Thrips can fly or crawl, making it difficult to keep them under control. In a short period of time, they might infest your entire collection of houseplants.

How to get rid of Thrips on Houseplants (indoors)

Fear not, for I am at your disposal! Thrips have a life cycle, eating habits and symptoms to look out for so you can get rid of them as quickly as possible. You’ll find all of this and more below.

If you’re looking for advice on how to get rid of thrips on indoor plants, you’ll find it here…

What Are Thrips?

Small, slender insects known as thrips feed on the sap of houseplants, causing their leaves, stems, buds, and flowers to turn yellow or brown.

You’ll notice these little bugs crawling all over the leaves of afflicted houseplants if you pay attention.

Because they’re so small, it’s hard to notice them at first. However, identifying them is a piece of cake once you’ve found them.

What Do Thrips Look Like?

Thrips have long, thin bodies that are narrow at the centre, making them easy to spot. They also have long antennae on their heads, slender, pointed tails, and wings on their backs (which are barely noticeable).

They will most likely be black, although they could be brown or white or even greenish-yellow in hue, depending on the type of houseplant. They have the ability to fly, although their skills aren’t particularly impressive. Hence, it is highly rare that they will be found buzzing about houseplants indoors.

Nymphs, the infancy stage of the thrips, are significantly smaller and harder to spot. Tiny adults, they are normally white or greenish-yellow in color, but can also be translucent.

Tiny thrip eggs are hardly noticeable to the naked eye. So, seeing any of those is rare, but not impossible.

Thrips Life Cycle

Understanding the thrips life cycle is essential before knowing how to get rid of them from houseplants. Eggs, nymphs, and adults make up the three main phases of a thrips’ life cycle.

Trichoptera may rapidly multiply in the correct conditions. Two weeks is all it takes for them to get from egg to adult.

Adults, on the other hand, only live for a few weeks. However, it is possible for multiple generations to be active at once.

And to make matters worse, some of them are capable of asexual reproduction. Consequently, there is no requirement for a mate in order for them to reproduce. Yikes!

Where Do Thrips Come From?

You’re more likely to find thrips in your houseplants if they’ve spent the summer outside or if you recently purchased a new one.

It is possible that the thrips you bring in from the garden could carry the pests inside with them, as they are a frequent garden problem.

Thrips Infestation on my Monstera – Fox on an Island

Adults can fly and are really little. This means that thrips could enter through open doors and windows, as well as screens on the windows and doors Here, you can learn more about the origins of houseplant pests.

What Houseplants Do Thrips Eat?

Thrrips can be found on a wide variety of plants, so keep an eye out for them on your indoor plants as well. Leaf, stem, flower and bud sap is drained from the plants by these critters.

Indoor plants can be eaten by both nymphs and adults. In most cases, you’ll only discover them when they’ve accumulated a significant number of individuals.

Thrips Damage On Houseplants

Thieves are often the first to show up in the form of fading or discolored leaves. Damaged parts of the leaves will begin to die, and the color of the leaves will change from white or gray to brown.

It is conceivable for thrips to kill a houseplant, although it is quite uncommon. Healthy, mature houseplants are capable of withstanding a significant infestation. Small or weak houseplants face the greatest danger.

However, a thrip infestation is not only unsightly, but it can also hinder the growth of your indoor plants. Among the most common side effects are:

  • Stripes of brown appear on the leaves of this plant.
  • Leaves that are splotchy and faded in color.
  • Some of the leaves have begun to wither.
  • Irregularly-formed flower buds fall off or don’t open.
  • Unexpectedly, the leaves have begun to fall.
  • Awkward new growth has emerged.

It’s time to take a closer look at your houseplants if they’re showing any of these symptoms. Make sure to check out what’s hiding beneath the foliage!

How To Get Rid Of Thrips On Houseplants?

There is good news: Thrips on houseplants can be eliminated and prevented from returning indefinitely! Woohoo!

Do not apply any chemical or synthetic pesticides on them. Thrips can quickly develop a resistance to chemicals, making your condition more worse.

For this reason, you should always use natural thrips treatment approaches. You don’t have to worry about utilizing any toxic chemicals in your home because they are considerably more effective and safer than conventional methods. Yeah!

Organic Thrips Treatment Methods

Once thrips are discovered on a houseplant, the first step is to quarantine the plant. Finally, take a look at the rest of your houseplants for symptoms of thrips.

As soon as you notice an infestation, get to work on eradicating it. Always wash your hands after handling an infected houseplant to prevent the spread of thrips.

To get rid of thrips on indoor plants, here is a list of the finest organic solutions that you may use at home. You must be steadfast, regardless of the strategy you adopt. There is no guarantee that the thrips will disappear after one treatment.

Rinse The Leaves

Rinse your houseplant outside with a hose if possible. That will get rid of most of the bugs and reduce their population in a short period of time.

Alternatively, you can use water from the sink or shower to thoroughly clean the leaves. Avoid overwatering your houseplant by using tepid water and taking care not to overfeed it.

Insecticidal Soap

You can use soap to kill thrips on the spot, and it will help you gain the upper hand. Make your own organic insecticidal soap with 1 tsp mild liquid soap in a gallon of water, or buy one already made.

If you want to get rid of the pests, spray it directly on the infected leaves. Insecticidal soap doesn’t have any kind of residual effect, so it’s important to treat them often in order to completely get rid of thrips.

If you want to get rid of the pests, spray it directly on the infected leaves. Because insecticidal soap doesn’t have a lasting impact, you must use it frequently to get rid of thrips.

Wash Your Houseplant

If you want to get rid of the pests, make sure you spray it right on the infected leaves! Insecticidal soap doesn’t have a residual effect, thus it’s necessary to use it frequently in order to totally eradicate thrips.

Thrips like to hide on the undersides of leaves, so be sure to wash those as well. However, it’s recommended to test the soap on a few leaves first to ensure that it doesn’t harm your houseplant before washing the rest of the leaves.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is one of my go-to products. Insecticides are naturally occurring and have a residual effect that will assist prevent subsequent infestations.

Using a spray bottle, apply a neem oil solution to the plant’s leaves and stems directly. The neem oil-coated leaves will kill certain bugs when they come into touch with them, while others will die from ingesting the oil when they feed on them. This article will teach you how to use neem oil on your houseplants.

Thrips on houseplants can be effectively eradicated using a hot pepper wax spray or a pre-mixed horticultural oil.

Sticky Traps

Traps made of sticky material are ideal for capturing adult thrips, as they can fly. If you’re dealing with an infestation of a houseplant, place yellow or blue sticky traps near the plant.

Using sticky traps is also a wonderful method to keep an eye out for future infestations, allowing you to catch them sooner. Checking for thrips on other houseplants may also be necessary.

How To Prevent Thrips On Indoor Plants?

Thrips can be a real pain in the neck to eradicate. Having won the war, your goal now is to keep them from ever returning! Is what I’m saying correct?

The good news is that there are a few simple techniques to keep thrips away from your houseplants…

  • Keep an eye out for the earliest signs of an infestation on a frequent basis (I do this every time I water)
  • Clean up any pests on your plants before storing them indoors for the winter.
  • Do not place your houseplants in the same room as anything you cut from your yard (flowers, vegetables, etc.).
  • Before bringing any new houseplants into your home, inspect them thoroughly and quarantine them for a few weeks.

Go Organic!

One of the greatest ways to get rid of these pesky insects is to go organic. This is due to the fact that pests quickly acquire resistance to the most prevalent chemical pesticides on the market today. These insecticides are also exceedingly detrimental to human health, aside from the previously mentioned effects. To remove the insects’ nits, simply wash the leaves in water. Simply spraying water on the problem areas will eliminate the pests. Spray the leaves, stems, and flower buds with a plant sprayer until they are completely free of the infestation.

How to Get Rid of Thrips Inside the House & Save Houseplants

Neem Oil and Soap

Alternatively, you might use a light pesticide soap for this. Neem oil can be added to the mix for even longer-lasting results. Consider the fact that they prefer to lay their eggs in the soil while making this decision. So, spraying the soil with a light insecticide combined with water might be a good idea.. It will be absorbed by the plant’s roots, which will ensure that it reaches the sections of the plant that pests prefer to consume. Alternatively, you may just hose it clean with a low-pressure water hose to remove the filth, dirt, and vermin.

Use Sticky Traps

Flying is an ability that all adult Thrips possess. They can be eliminated using sticky traps in a safe and non-harmful manner. It will be impossible for the bug to escape once it lands on one of these traps. The bug-covered paper can then be tossed into the trash.

Use Common Pesticide

This is an excellent way to get rid of an infestation of these pests, despite the fact that it is not generally recommended by professionals. Especially if it has spread to other plants and the infestation is particularly severe. Insects may sting and inflict a lot of pain when they bite, so you should be aware of this.


It is a nuisance to deal with thrips, which may wreak havoc on your houseplants. A permanent solution can be found, however, in the use of natural remedies like Neem oil, plain water, and mind-cleansing detergents.


A few of the most frequently asked questions concerning thrips are answered below. After reading this, if you still have a question, feel free to post it in the comments section below. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Do Thrips Bite People?

Thrips can, in fact, bite. Their bites, on the other hand, normally only produce little discomfort. Despite having them on my indoor plants, I have never been bitten by them. To my knowledge, none that I’m aware of.

Are Thrips Harmful To Humans?

Not at all. However, as I said in the last question, they are capable of biting.

Do Thrips Fly?

Yes. They may fly as adults in several species of thrips. It’s not every day that you see thrips flying around your houseplants. Instead of flying, they prefer to crawl as their primary form of transportation.

How Do You Know If You Have Thrips On Houseplants?

Gray or dull-colored leaves, or leaves with brown dots or stripes, are the first signs of a thrip infestation. Leaf or bud drop is a common symptom of severe infestations, which can result in deformed or stunted development. For further information, see the “Thrips Damage Symptoms” section above.

Do Thrips Live In Soil?

The soil of house plants is not a habitat for thrips. Here’s how to get rid of the fungus gnats you’re seeing.

How Long Do Thrips Live?

Thrips, as adults, live for only a few weeks at most.

Thrips on houseplants can be difficult to eradicate, but persistence pays off. Be diligent with your treatments, and make sure you’ve taken all necessary precautions to prevent thrips from returning.