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  • Gaye Hammond

Chilli Thrips: A Pictorial Guide

Gaye Hammond

Master Rosarian, Houston Rose Society

Roses & You, July 2020

Click on the above slideshow to enlarge the images and read about each one.

Gardener Alert!

Chilli thrips attack more than 130 different types of plants that grow in Texas. If it grows here … it is on the chilli thrips buffet.

Without control in one Texas season a chilli thrips population can increase from 40 to 419 Quadrillion. They will not go away on their own!

Immediate identification and implementation of controls are critical.

For more information go to: (Chilli Thrips)

Getting control:

  1. Cut off all damaged parts of the plants. Bag and dispose of damaged plant material to reduce breeding populations. Do not compost infected plant material.

  2. Start chemical treatment with products rated for chilli thrips (e.g. Spinosad, Imidacloprid, Dinotefuran, Abamectin). Nursery professionals also report Monterrey Horticultural Oil and Suffoil-X are effective suffocants. Only a few pesticides work on chilli thrips. Spray when pests are not swarming (best times before 10:00 a.m. and after 2:00 p.m.)

  3. Biological controls are important in chilli thrips management. Some are Amblyseius swirskii (predatory mite) and Orius insidiosus (insidious flower bug)

  4. Continue treatment until symptoms disappear.

  5. Chilli thrips are problematic in Houston from May to September.

If you suspect that chilli thrips are in your garden:

  1. Cut samples of leaves, buds and stems from symptomatic plants;

  2. Put the samples in a gallon zip lock bag with a folded piece of dry paper towel;

  3. Seal the bag;

  4. Label the bag with (1) your name, (2) your contact information, (3) the city, county, state where the sample was taken, (4) date the sample was taken and (5) specie of the host plant (e.g. rose, hybiscus, basil, etc.);

  5. Complete the attached sample submission form and send the sample by overnight delivery it to:

Erfan Vafaie

Horticulture Extension Specialist

Texas AgriLife Extension Service

1710 FM 3053 North

Overton, Texas 75684

Schedule the delivery so that samples arrive Monday through Thursday.

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