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Pest Briefs: Thrips 101
By: Robert Batman

NATURAL ENTOMOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION

Phylum Arthropoda
Class Hexapoda or Insecta
Order Thysanoptera
Family Various
Genus/species Various

Morphosis: (depending on species) egg-larva-pupa adult. Reproduction commonly by parthenogensis (without fertilization) and males are absent in some species. Some species are know to bite humans!

What's biting me? Something is biting me, but I can't see it? My pets don't have fleas, and it's not mosquitoes. But, something is biting me! Help!

THRIPS are very small ( you probably can't see them) flying insects that feed mainly on plants, but they bite humans! If you want to actually see a Thrip, you will probably need a 10X or higher magnification and you will need to know what your are looking for (most people don't know what they are looking at, or for, and still see nothing). Thrips can easily fly through window screening and, obviously, through open doors, even if the door is only briefly opened then shut. They are not blood feeders and get no nutritional value from biting humans, but do it anyway simply because they can. Maybe they think you are a plant! Although thrips normally feed on plants, they like sweaty humans and will also bite when trapped under clothing. Most people notice the bites during late afternoon or in the evening. You can be sitting in your easy chair and get bitten. Thrips are not disease vectors (do not spread disease), but their bite varies from a pricking sensation to sightly painful (similar to flea or mosquito)! They pack a wallop, especially for their size.

WHAT SHOULD I DO TO STOP THIS PROBLEM? You should contact a Professional Pest Control Operator (PCO) that knows something about Thrips and the available control measures which will aid in controlling the problem. Don't waste your time and money on a PCO that doesn't know what to do about this problem. Tell the PCO the facts as you know them: you are being bitten by something, but cannot see or find anything that's doing it. That your pets, if you have any, don't have a flea problem, and you know it's not mosquitoes or chiggers. Such information should signal the PCO that you may have a "Thrip Problem." Remember, these are flying insects and more than one service may be necessary. In other words, don't expect a guaranteed or warrantied service. We (Best) have been very successful in providing control aids for this pest. This service requires some Customer preparation and the PCO will have to use pesticides, but that's better than getting bitten every afternoon and evening while your sitting in the easy chair watching TV.

If you have a need for Thrip control and you live in the Greater Kansas City (Missouri/Kansas) Metro area, give Best Exterminators, Inc. a call: (816) 765- 8844 or (913) 671-8844.

© Copyright, 2000-2013 by Robert Batman. All Rights Reserved. DISCLAIMER