Eliminate Thrips on your Marijuana Plants Right Now

Man theses creatures are ugly aren’t they?

Looks like Alien and Predator had a baby.

​Lets get a bit more serious and find out a little about these things called thrips and how to get rid of them for good.

One of the most common pests you might have to deal with when growing is getting thrips on your marijuana plants.

Theses insects are just as famous as root aphids when it comes to causing a disturbance in the middle of a grow.

Thrips are known to be a pest of flowers and vegetables, so depending on where you live they can appear from anywhere.

The thrip can impact your cannabis plants the most when growing outdoors but can also be a nuisance indoors as well.

There are over six thousand different species of thrips in the world and are a common threat to marijuana growers.

How long do they live?

thrips life cycle
The stages of the thrips life.

Thrips life cycle consists of going from eggs to larvae to adults, in a total of nineteen days at 70-degree Fahrenheit.

If you increase temperature by five more degrees they become adults in just thirteen days!

Adults can live up to thirty days, and the females lay 2- 10 eggs per day. That’s correct per day. According to University of California

If you cannot control and eliminate the outbreak, your plants will become stunted and will affect the harvest.

Where do thrips come from?

cannabis thrip

Thrips come from flowers, vegetables and plants that appear in the spring time in seasonal climates and make their way into your marijuana garden.

Usually on clothes from outside that were in contact with the insects.

In warmer climates, they are around all year and live on many different species of plants.

Or if you were at another growershouse and the thrips decided to hitch a ride.

Signs of Thrips on Marijuana

  • Silver/gold spots or patches on leaves/stems
  • Flying around by soil
  • Crawling on leaves and stems
  • Leaves turning yellow, brown and breaking off
  • Lower leaves a common location for thrips
  • May look like spider mites damage

The spots and damage caused by thrips appears bigger and more irregular shapes than the damage spider mites cause.

Just look really close to make sure you have thrips on your cannabis plants.

Thrip Damage 

thrips on marijuana

thrips on cannabis leaf

How to Get Rid of Thrips

thrip on cannabis

There are many ways to remove thrips on your marijuana plants. The ones I recommend are the all natural kind.

Note: If you notice thrips when flowering it may be too late. Treat with natural soap solution mixed with water first.

Yellow sticky traps these are the best first defense for thrips or any other flying insects in the garden.

Just place these around the top of your pots or hydroponics tubs to catch all the adults so they cannot keep reproducing.

Neem oil which is common in some growers supply closets because of its multi-purpose use.

What the neem oil does is it affects leaf eating insects by making them forget to eat if interrupts their hormonal balance.

Spray on your leaves once a day for about three to five days depending on the outbreak.

Mix 1 tsp with one liter or a quart of water. You can add more or less water to the strength you desire.

Nematodes are a must in any garden, in my opinion because they are so beneficial to your garden in preventing any insects that lay eggs from causing an infestation from occurring.

Lady bugs can be another alternative if you can get these at your local grow shop or now even on Amazon with live delivery check it out. The Thrip Killer !

lady bug marijuana

Those Ladybugs love the thrips and just eat them right up. Perfect for when your growing cannabis plants outdoors.

Make sure you are using a closed system indoor to prevent them from spreading through your other rooms.

Predatory species bugs are great at killing thrips in your marijuana garden such as Amblyseius swirskii.

There are many different types of predatory species out there that do a great job especially for outdoor growers.

The predatory bugs are easier to release and go to work outdoors, rather than causing concern when growing indoors.

They may get into other areas of a house or grow facility.

Here are a few other ones that are great at attacking and eating thrips  on your cannabis plants:

Amblyseius cucumeris. Neoseiulus cucumeris, Neoseiulus barkeri, Euseius hibisci  Amblyseius barkeri, Iphiseius degenerans.

Orius,  These bugs belong to the Anthocoridae family and feed on mites and thrips.

thrips marijuana


Spinosad is an ingredient in some organic insecticides and can be sprayed on plants or even used when watering. 

Spinosad is not safe for using outdoors because  is toxic to bees. According to PubMED and the National Pesticide Information Center.

Insecticidal soap for thrips are used a lot by growers because of it all natural ingredients and is safe to plants and humans.

You can use regular dish soap by mixing a 1 percent solution to water and spray on the leaves of your plants.

What the soap does is is suffocate the thrips.

You can also purchase some name brand if you need more of a heavier dose of insecticide to kill the thrips.

Azamax for thrips on your cannabis plants is another means, but I usually leave this until the last resort as it does the same as the Spinosad.

That is it’s an anti-feeder meaning the insect cannot feed anymore on your leaves, so they eventually die off.

Check out the video on how to identify thrips,

Final Thoughts

As I stated earlier, I prefer using natural solutions first to get rid of thrips on marijuana plants.

Sometimes theses insects are hard to avoid, and they usually appear out of nowhere.

Always keep an eye on your plants to make sure no thrips are wanting to make a new home in your marijuana garden.

What have your experiences been with thrips?

Let me know in the comments below.

Grow on my friends.​

Image credits:

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26 thoughts on “Eliminate Thrips on your Marijuana Plants Right Now”

    • Hi Toker1
      From what I have read Spinosad is toxic to bees’, I have updated the post with a link on some info from the National Pesticide Information Center. Check it out .It’s also on PubMed

  1. Hi there,
    How often can Spinosad be used on flowering plants? I have a grow tent and all six plants have thrips. I have sprayed once (just on leaves! Not buds) but I don’t imagine it’s that easy to get rid of them. So can this be used every day? Several times a week? Is it a one shot deal? And will it damage my plants? Thank you in advance! Great article!

    • I believe you can use it several times a week. Just be careful on when spraying to avoid bud damage. If possible remove all leaves with thrips. Not sure on the damage it will do to plants but It may damage some of the trichome development if in contact..

  2. Can thrips be living in my crawlspace? In bathroom exhaust fan? In my trim around doors and base? I’m getting squirted by something I can’t see…..

  3. Hi,, iv noticed iv got a right infestation of these little blisters,,, I’m just into second week of flower,, do u think it will be ok to use a smoke bomb at this stage to get rid of most of them to start, then control them with a natural insecticide afterwards

    • Not sure if you should do a smoke bomb. I wouldn’t , depending how bad the infestation is maybe start with natural insecticide or even some lady bugs.

  4. Hi,

    am not growing your kind of plant but sure would be grateful if you could help. Seems like have a case of thrips and my plants die out if we put it outdoors (coz its rented and the west balcony has burned my curry plants every day that they are out). The only way of survival is to keep them indoors but that makes them more pest-prone. Seems that have a case of thrips. Do you think it is safe using nematodes indoors? Thanks!

  5. I have an aquaponics indoor grow.

    Used neem oil once before and lost 30 fish. What would you suggest I use? I just got over my white fly problem using bioswirskii predator mites. Not sure they are taking care of thirps.

  6. Thrips are the major issue for home gardeners. sometimes i get so frustrated from this type of plant diseases.thanks for writing about thrips.
    I actually finding for preventing from thrips and got this article perfect solution.

  7. Did you cut the buds open and check for thrips? These can cause the buds to fall off. Also, if the plant has not been kept sufficiently moist or the air is very dry, this can cause the buds to drop.

  8. Use the spinosad in veg. Kills them in hours. Just gone. Like they packed up and left. Use again right before flowering for 4 weeks of protection into flowering and continue to use on veg plants in 4 week intervals and likely never have a pest again.

  9. A lot of helpful information here… Thanks!
    The video leaves (no pun!) a lot to be desired though… like actually showing thrips.

  10. I used Spinosad spray once a week for 2 weeks, and still had a problem, so I switched to Neem Oil Spray a week later and did once a week for 2 weeks. Now I’m at mid flowering stage with lots of buds, and each bud seems to have hundreds of white baby thrips without wings on them. Can I still do something at this flowering stage? Is there a way to spray water on the buds to remove dead thrips before harvest? How many dead thrips is acceptable to smoke? lol

    • Sorry to hear you got some thrips on your buds, it’s very hard to get them off once on. Not sure what else you could do without compromising your buds. You could try a hydrogen peroxide bath after harvest to wash them off. use about 1 oz per gallon and set buds in water bath and then rinse with clean water after and hang dry. Not sure if that will work seen it done with powdery mildew.

  11. 418 konk kills them or 418 doctor doom its natural & does not hurt the plants if you do it right put plants in some sort of container like a cooler or something just spray a slight mist into the container & leave them in there for a couple hours repeat a few time s a couple days apart do not get plants wet just a mist of coarse this only works on clones or something you can put in some sort of confined space

  12. I’m doing a test right now…… 0 deg….. for a half hour…..during its. Night cycle….. I figure it’s the time the plant is most active moving around nutrients….. should provide enough nutrients to keep from freezing…… and kill and post egg critter…. another three to four treatments as they hatch over the next two weeks…. I should see stress but nothing manageable… as I’m in early stage of flowering.


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