Common Species:
Frankliniella fusca (Hinds) - tobacco thrips
Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) - western flower thrips
Frankliniella tritici (Fitch) - flower thrips
Thrips palmi (Karny) - melon thrips
Thrips tabaci - onion thrips
Common Name:
storm flies
storm bugs
corn flies
corn lice
Damaging Stage:
Larvae and adults
Crops Afected:
Cucurbits, solanaceous, legumes, brassicas, cotton, tobacco
Characteristics Damage:
Leaves, flowers and fruits can be affected.
Feeding causes upward curling of leaves, older leaves become silvery, speckled and distorted and may drop prematurely.
Infested petals may exhibit color break or discoloration of tissues.
Severely infested plants may become stunted.
They are vectors of tospovirus (Watermelon silver mottle virus (WSMov), Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), Melon necrotic spot virus (MNSV), Melon yellow spot virus (MYSV), Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV).
Control and Management:
Monitor the area regularly.
Prune heavily infested leaves and dispose properly.
Remove weeds and volunteer plants that may serve as alternate hosts.
Cultivate the soil by harrowing and plowing and use plastic mulch to repel the thrips and reduce pupation on the soil.

Apply insecticides like spinosad, methiocarb (e.g. Mesurol®), fipronil (e.g. Ascend®) and  acephate (e.g. Acetam®) when necessary.


Denoyes B., Bordat D, Bon Hde, Daly P. 1986. A new pest of vegetable crops in Martinnique: Thrip palmi (Karny).Agronomie Tropicale, 41(2): 167-169

Fedorov SM, 1930. Tobacco thrips (Thrips tabaci Lind.) as a pest of tobacco plant in Crimea.Eos, 6:229-248.

Johnson M.W., 1986. Population trends of anewly introduced species, Thrips palmi (Thysonoptera: Thripidae), on commercial watermelon planting in Hawaii. Journal of Economic Entomology, 79(3): 718-720

Klein M. Franck A., Rimon D, 1986.Proliferation and branching of cotton seedling: The suspected cause-Thrips tabaci, the influence on yield , and test to reduce damage.Phytoparasitica, 14(1): 25-37

Lewis T (ed.), 1997. Thrips as Crop Pests.Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Nakahara S, 1994. The genus Thrips Linnaeus (Thysonoptera:Thripidae) of the New World. Technical Bulletin-United Stataes Department of Agriculture, no. 1822: vi + 183pp.