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Please be sure to read the product label of any insecticide you choose to use to get information on the personal protective safety gear you will need. In most situations, it is recommended that you wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, closed toe shoes with socks, chemical resistant gloves, and goggles. In areas where ventilation is poor, a manufacturer may recommend you wear a mask or a respirator. We have put together two different safety kits that will make selecting the correct safety gear easier for you.

Thrips Identification Guide

How to Identify Thrips in the United States

By DoMyOwn staff

Thrips Found in the United States

a photo of a black thrips on a leaf
Thrips are sucking insects that can damage leaves, flowers, and fruit surfaces on many plants. Thrips pierce the outer layer of plant skin and feed on the juices within. The signs of this type of feeding may include dark spots or flecks and white feeding scars on the plant skin.
a photo of a thrips next to a U.S. penny for size comparison

Adult thrips are slender and tiny, at 1/50- to 1/25-inches long. Adult thrips can be seen above compared to a U.S. penny for a size comparison.

The nymphs look like even smaller adults, with some differences in coloration.


Thrips appear to be tiny dark slivers on your plants. They have elongated bodies, and their long, narrow wings have a fringe pattern along their edges.

an illustration that compares the size and shape of 8 varieties of thrips

There are many types of thrips in different colors. Thrips change in color between larval and adult stages, and thrips larvae tend to be light green or yellow rather than the darker colors many adult thrips display. Their eyes are sometimes visibly red.

Some of the most common colorations for adult thrips include:

  • Translucent yellow or whitish colors
  • Dark brown or black
  • Less common varieties may be bright colors such as red-orange


There are several thousand varieties of thrips in the world, and hundreds of varieties can be found across the United States. Some are most commonly found in the Southeastern states, but others may be found from coast to coast, appearing wherever their preferred plant food source is readily available.

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