thrips on cannabis

How to Get Rid of Thrips on cannabis Plants

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Finding out that your plants have been infested is one of the worst feelings, and sometimes figuring out how to get rid of thrips on cannabis plants can be complicated, depending on the stage they’re in. In this post, we’re going to talk about how to prevent, identify and eradicate one of the most common pests when it comes to growing cannabis and gardening in general; thrips.

Thrip Prevention

Before you’re unlucky enough to find out what thrips look like, you should already be working on preventive measures to ensure that you never have to actually see one. In order to avoid thrips from thriving on your plants, you need to make sure that they’re as healthy as possible. In order to do this you’ll need to help them to strengthen their own natural defenses. You can also use preventive products; if possible, we recommend using penetrant products that actually get into , making it hard for insects to stay on your plants and procreate; thrips feed off of sap.

  1. Use plant fortifying products.
  2. Spray penetrant preventive products.
  3. Use solid penetrant preventive products in the substrate.
  4. Place various insect traps.
  5. Cover the surface of your substrate in plastic.
  6. Use high quality substrate.
  7. Do not add new plants or clones from other grows to your growing area.
  8. Disinfect and sterilize your growing room/area and material before you start.
  9. Avoid high temperatures and over-soaking substrate (indoor growing).

In order to prevent thrips from taking over your plants we highly recommend using preventive products both via foliar application and in the substrate; one of the processes that these insects go through before they become adults happens in soil. Another important factor is the temperature, just like with almost every other insect infestation; we highly recommend keeping the air/substrate temperature under 25ºC. You should also refrain from bringing other plants or clones into your growing area without having disinfected them and kept them in a type of quarantine afterwards to make sure they aren’t carrying anything.

How to Detect Thrips

One of the most common ways of identifying and thrip infestation is by the small marks that they leave behind on leaves, which are incredibly similar to those left by the white fly. However, you’ll also be able to distinguish small shiny marks and black spots, which are the feces of the thrips. Thrips contain toxic substances in their saliva that can cause deformations on certain parts of the plant, especially on the leaves, which is a good indicator that you have a thrip infestation.

In as far as the actual insect, they can measure anywhere from 0.3 to 14mm long, and they look different depending on the stage that they’re in, which is why there are light green, white, gray and brown thrips – some are even entirely black, with or without leaves.

Thrip Life Cycle

What Damage Can a Thrip Infestation Do?

Thrips are known for laying their eggs within the small layers on plant leaves, so that when they hatch they cause a very small hole through which all types of bacteria and fungi can get through. Once it hatches, it starts to feed off of the plant’s sap, producing the small marks and deformations we mentioned earlier.

Plants that are deeply infected become much weaker and stop growing properly; in a few cases they might even die out completely, especially younger plants. Adult plants that die after being infected by thrips usually end up catching some sort of illness or fungi that managed to make its way through the little holes left by the insects on the leaves.

How to Get Rid of Thrips on Cannabis Plants

In order to talk about how to efficiently get rid of thrips on cannabis plants we’re going to go over a few different products that be used to treat this particular infestation as well as others. Keep in mind, however, that thrips start off by thriving on the leaves, then they move to the substrate in order to finish their metamorphosis into adult plants, who then go back up to the top in order to reproduce. This means that you need to treat the substrate and the upper layers of the plant in order to get rid of the thrips as fast and as efficiently as possible, as this infestation is capable of reproducing and taking over your plants in no time at all.

How to Get Rid of Thrips: Insecticides

Neem Cake

Neem cake, apart from containing certain nutrients, is capable of improving the actual structure of your soil and improving plant growth. It’s also incredibly efficient when it comes to getting rid of insects in the soil, although it’s even more efficient when sprayed. This product is organic and penetrant; your plants absorb it and keeps it inside for a while. It essentially causes certain types of insects to stop reproducing, so they either leave or dye off.


Soilnabis is quite the complete product, made using vegetal extracts, and it’s capable of stimulating all types of plant growth while also increasing your plants’ natural defenses, stopping insects from reproducing in the soil thanks to its Alpha-terthienyl, which is toxic for larvae and insects.

Cythrin Garden

This product allows you to get rid of some of the most common insect infestations when it comes to growing cannabis, including thrips. This product acts as soon as it comes into contact with the insect, creating an intense repellant effect; it can be used either as a preventive measure or to get rid of insect infestations.

Sticky Fly Traps

A lot of growers use blue and yellow fly traps when it comes to both indoor and outdoor growing; for thrips, we highly recommend using blue traps, although you should be using both anyway so that you can catch a more varying type of insects that might want to get near your plants.

Orius Laevigatus

When it comes to thrips sometimes the best option is to fight fire with fire; these insects are predators and they’re one of the most recommended methods of fighting them off without needing to use any products; it’s a great way to easily and viciously get rid of all thrips on your cannabis plants.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is one of the most used products when it comes to eco-friendly agriculture in order to fight various different types of insects off. Thanks to its ingredients, it’s capable of dehydrating and perforating the shell of any insects that come into contact with it. It stimulates plant growth and it improves the actual characteristics of your plants’ substrate.

How to Get Rid of Thrips on Cannabis Plants | What to Do next

After having had your plants viciously attacked by this annoying, hard to kill insect, we highly recommend cleaning the plant and substrate in order to remove any leftover feces and possible eggs that may still be hanging around, capable of causing them to rear their ugly head again. The best way to do this is to use insecticidal soap; this product cleans your entire plant and it’ll get rid of any leftover insects or eggs thanks to its insecticidal properties. We also recommend disinfecting your entire grow room and throwing your substrate out once finished.

Hopefully now you have a clearer idea on how to get rid of thrips on cannabis plants; if this article helped you out or you have any questions, drop a comment below letting us know and we’ll get back to you!

Figuring out how to get rid of thrips on cannabis plants used to be a bit of a pain, but by following these steps they'll definitely be gone in no time!

Thrips – How To Get Rid of Them?

Thrips are a common threat to cannabis cultivators. They are small pests that look like little worms or flying insects. They are tough to get rid of and survive by sucking the sap out of your plants. Here is a quick guide to spotting thrips, and a few ideas for preventing and controlling an infestation.

Growing cannabis can be an exciting and rewarding hobbie. But what happens if others decide to enjoy your cherished crop before you do?


Thrips are a common problem faced by canna-cultivators. They are a minute pest that literally suck the plant sap out of your crop. Thrips also come in several different species. They can be tiny winged insects (measuring in the millimetres), or they can look like small, pale worms.

Regardless of their species, thrips are the bane of farmers everywhere. They can reproduce up to 12 times per year. When mature, they can survive just by flying from one plant to another. Outside of cannabis, thrips’ favourite crop seems to be cotton, although they can damage many kinds of crops. But they really seem to love cannabis! Unfortunately, they are particularly damaging when they appear early on in the grow process.

The most damaging thrip threat to cannabis comes from a species called Frankliniella occidentalis. These thrips are yellowish-white flying bugs. They lay their eggs on the plant itself. The first signs of their presence are small, silver stains or dots on the underside of leaves. This is how thrips lay their eggs. They are also easy to miss.

Worse? While not a significant threat to outdoor growers, they thrive inside. Indoor grows and greenhouses are their favourite environments. They love high temperatures. Thrips can also be persistent if not treated properly. And if not eliminated early, they can significantly reduce yields.


The best way to rid yourself of thrips is to never have an infestation in the first place. Make sure that you thoroughly sanitise your growing space before you begin. This means not only keeping the place spotless, but removing all dead plant matter.

Once the grow space is set up, install insect adhesive strips. Much like fly paper, these are insect traps that will catch most of the free-flying bugs around. The bugs will get glued to the strips. Problem solved.

Eradicating thrips once they have established a presence is the only way to save your crops and prevent a new infestation. The best method (without using harsh chemicals) is to use potassium soap or neem oil. Pyrethrins and rotenone are also good options, although use sparingly as pyrethrins are also highly toxic to bees.

Neem oil serves as a completely natural way to protect your cannabis plants against pests.

Neem oil serves as a completely natural way to protect your cannabis plants against pests.

Spinosad products are also organic and harmless to pets, children, and plants. Spinosad is an organic pesticide made from the fermentation of certain kinds of soil bacteria. This form of insecticide can be used both as a topical spray and at the roots. When added to water, these products are only good for about 24 hours, so only mix what you need at any given time.

If you want to use chemicals to clean your space and crop, try to use the least toxic substances available. Remember to use both masks and gloves when handling all toxic chemicals.

Introducing natural predators like Orius laevigatus (the common bed bug) is another way to keep your harvest thrip-free.

Thrips are a common pest facing indoor cannabis cultivators. They can seriously damage the plant and lower yields. Here is a guide on how to get rid of them.