Thrips are slender, tiny insects that often have fringed wings and are generally 1 mm or less in size. Nymphs are elongate, lack wings and range in color from off-white or yellow to brown or black. Most thrips feed by sucking out cell contents of leaves or flowers, but some can cause leaf distortions or “galls” where they continue to feed and lay eggs. Thrips can have several generations (egg to adult) per year so these pest outbreaks can be very damaging. Although they are not good flyers they can be carried great distances by the wind. Given certain conditions, many species can amass a large population and travel in swarms.
Initial feeding symptoms on leaves appear as pale spots or stipples from the piercing- sucking mouthparts. At times, black feces will be present next to whitish feeding scars, and this sign will help distinguish damage caused by aphids that do not leave hard fecal matter. Certain species that cause galls, such as Myoporum and Cuban Laurel Thrips, can cause all of the new growth to appear tightly rolled or pod-like at branch tips.
Info Source: Arborjet
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