Thrips are small, winged insects that primarily feed on plants. Due to the fact that they are known to carry various plant diseases, they’re considered to be a serious agricultural nuisance.

Most home infestations happen through infected potted plants.

Biological Profile

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Thysanoptera
  • Family: Thripidae
  • Genus: Thrips

How common are they?

There are thousands of species of Thrips. Most are introduced into the home through infested plants, and then spread into furniture and other areas of the home.

They are found in virtually all 50 states in the US, and are primarily a nuisance during spring, summer, and fall months.

Health Risks

  • Known diseases: Plant diseases (Tospoviruses)
  • Bites: Yes
  • Stings: No

How dangerous are they?

Thrips are not dangerous to humans, but are serious agricultural pests. They carry common plant diseases, such as Tospoviruses.

Thrips have been known to bite humans, which can cause slight irritation of the skin. Experts believe they occasionally bite humans in search of water — they are not blood feeders. They are also not known to destroy anything inside the home, but they will infest many interior items.

Pest Treatment Factors

  • Cost: Medium
  • DIY-Friendly: No
  • Lifestyle Impact: Minimal

How hard are they to get rid of?

Thrips are very small — with most under 1mm in total length. As such, they’re very difficult to contain and eradicate with conventional DIY approaches.


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