thrips on cannabis

While thrips can be really tiny cannabis pests, they can still be spotted by the naked eye. Some may have wings and some may not. Thrips reproduce rapidly, especially in tight places. That is what makes them hard to get rid of when using pesticides. They suck the sap right out of your plant with their piercing mouths, which makes the leaves look like they turned white.




Thrips Elimination and Control

You can tell when you have thrips by taking a look at your leaves – they will look as if chlorophyll has been ripped right off the plant. Plants that are damaged can’t be healed thus making it harder for them to absorb light.

If left untreated, thrips will kill cannabis plants. Damage also can be seen by the greenish-black specks of poop they leave on foliage. Moreover, there will be silver patches on the plant from scar tissue.

Depending on the severity of an infestation, thrips damage might initially look like spider mite damage. Sometime later the damage gets worse and you can confirm that it is indeed a thrips case when the greenness of leaves is replaced with portions of white patches.

Thrips also can cause viruses to the plants and any larvae infected will breed more infected pests! Adults have wings though they do not fly well but rather jump from leaf to leaf and from plant to plant. While they suck, the plants release honeydew which can contribute to another common problem in cannabis – molds.

There are different kinds of thrips and some are more resistant to chemicals than others. These marijuana bugs can also carry plant pathogens in their mouths and transmit these to other plants, increasing their chances of getting infected. If your cannabis plants are affected during late flowering or close to harvest, make sure you use organic pest control as it is safest for both your plants and your health.


Thrips are more of a threat to indoor cannabis growers compared to outdoor growers. They love high temperatures in stagnant environments, which is why they favor indoor grows and greenhouses more than any other location.

Sanitation is the best way to prevent an infestation in indoor cannabis grows but it’s likely that you’ll still run into a thrips problem no matter how hard you try to keep your grow area clean. To nip a potential infestation in the bud, ANT & GARDEN ORGANIC PEST CONTROL in Beaverton, OR highly recommends regularly removing dead plant matter and installing insect adhesive strips near the base of your cannabis plants. These adhesive strips work pretty much like fly paper and will catch most of the free-flying thrips that have infested your indoor crop. Regularly replace adhesive strips until you stop seeing bugs glued to these strips.

If the adhesive strips aren’t enough and you think your thrips problem has gotten out of hand, you may need to use organic pesticides to eradicate these pesky bugs from your grow space. ANT & GARDEN ORGANIC PEST CONTROL recommends spraying with Spinosad if it is legal to use in your state. I especially love Conserve SC among all spinosad products, but first make sure if your state allows using Spinosad on cannabis grows.


It is produced via fermentation of the soil bacteria Saccharopolyspora spinosa and used both as a foliar spray and a soil drench. However, Spinosad is toxic to bees and caterpillars and its use has been banned in some places in an effort to save local bee and butterfly populations. Also, while it has generally been accepted that Spinosad is safe to use on edible crops, studies are still insufficient to validate its safety on humans during the cannabis smoking process.


If the use of Spinosad is legal in your state, just keep in mind that the spray or soil drench formulation is only good for about 24 hours when mixed with water. For this reason, mix only what you need at any given time to avoid waste. Also, remember to always use complete personal protective equipment when spraying—whole bodysuit or coveralls, mask, gloves, and ear protection.



Unlike in indoor grow spaces where a cannabis cultivator has the free-hand in controlling and manipulating factors that affect pest populations such as temperature, light, humidity and airflow, outdoor growers are at the mercy of nature when dealing with these environmental conditions. For this reason, pest control for a thrips problem in outdoor cannabis grows may be more of a challenge compared to indoor grows. Luckily, these particular pests don’t invade outdoor cannabis crops as much as indoor grows and greenhouses. Still, outdoor cannabis growers need to keep watch as an infestation can significantly reduce yields if not eliminated early.



Much of my experience on thrips pest control has been with indoor cannabis grows, so I reached out to Nicholas Martin, the driving force behind Pest Control Hacks. Nicolas is professional pest fighter like I am—he is also an entomologist who has worked with several large cannabis growing companies and has dealt with thrips issues more than any other pests in outdoor cannabis grows. Here are his recommendations.

First, verify if you really have thrips in cannabis and not any other type of pests.


Why? Because at first, a thrips problem may resemble two-spotted spider mite damage. To check for both larvae and adult thrips on cannabis, hold a white piece of paper under an area of the plant and tap the plant several times. If the pests are present on the plant, this will dislodge the bugs onto the paper where they can then be seen more easily.>

yellow sticky traps blue sticky traps

Use yellow or blue sticky traps to monitor for adults. These same yellow or blue sticky traps will also work well for mass trapping if thrips pest populations are high. Special pheromones for thrips are available and can be used in conjunction with sticky traps.

When it comes to pesticides, recommended formulations should include the active ingredient, Beauveria bassianaANT & GARDEN ORGANIC PEST CONTROL also recommends any Spinosad-based pesticide if the use of this ingredient isn’t banned in your state.

Biological control is also another safe and organic option for addressing a thrips problem in cannabis. For the young larval stages of this pest, the predatory mites Amblyseius cucumeris and Amblyseius swirskii can be used. The minute pirate bug, Orius insidious, also works very well for adult thrips. For thrips that pupate in the soil, Stratiolaelaps scimitus (Hypoaspis miles) and Dalotia coriaria (Atheta coriaria) can be introduced to the grow area. Nematodes (Steinernema feltiae) can also be drenched into the soil to help control thrips pupae.

pest control beaverton

If you want to get rid of thrips and other common cannabis pests that have started invading your grow space, ANT & GARDEN ORGANIC PEST CONTROL in Beaverton Oregon can help you out. Don’t delay. Contact us today!



Ant & Garden Pest Control procures all the best organic pest control treatments in bulk which translates to huge savings for our clients. We are also equipped with all the tools and gadgets such as cold-fogging atomizers, state-of-the art Dino-Lite digital microscopes, and the required personal protective equipment (PPEs). You’ll be paying less for our professional pest control services as it will be more expensive for you to be buying these same products, tools and gadgets yourself.

pest control beaverton

That is why it is always best to consult with an organic pest control expert like Ryan at Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control in Beaverton, Oregon to successfully eradicate or prevent a thrips infestation in your cannabis operations. Not only will I eradicate thrips and other cannabis pests; as an added bonus, I will also train your team on how to yield 200% more buds of higher quality per harvest!

Give Ryan a call today to book a free consultation or to schedule an onsite assessment and put an end to your endless worries about broad mites and other cannabis pests!


Our Reviews

Ryan Smith of ANT & GARDEN ORGANIC PEST CONTROL in Beaverton is the most trusted and reliable pest control guy in Oregon, and for good reason! I care about helping my clients as though they’re members of my own family. Whether you’re in need of urgent treatment for an existing ant pest problem or are looking for the best prevention methods for your home or business, I am committed to bringing you only the best ant and pest control Beaverton for your complete peace of mind.

Emma Baker

Great company! I was about to kill all my plants and shut down because of frustration with two-spotted spider mites and broad mites. So happy Ryan verified this through a Dino lite microscope at 220 x magnification. Extremely satisfied in his service, my mites died, no eggs spared.

Paul Evans

Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control deserves 10 stars saved me from bankruptcy. I had root aphids in my indoor garden there’s nobody that knows how to kill them and has posted it on the internet. Ryan has dealt with them before and knew exactly which olcc approved products to buy and how to prevent reinfestation. I just harvested my first pest free crop in years! I am now going with his maintenance sprays 1 time a week Ryan has all the best lab grade equipment and knowledge. Easier to let him focus on my pests my time can be spent growing bumper crops of exceptional quality. This harvest I yielded 50% more than normal and sold everything I grew for 30% more than last time. Not only are my pests gone but Ryan’s service made me money.

Michael Wright

The commercial-grade soil baggage compost I used for my plants has root aphids. I had to reach out to Ryan of Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control for assistance. The last three months have been quite pleasing as the destructive aphids were gone. Ryan was reliable, providing a constant level of quality with strong results. You can’t beat the peace of mind he offers. I had my first harvest smoothly with his maintenance spraying. We yielded over 2 grams a watt, nearly double our personal best.




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Fully-bonded and insured, ANT & GARDEN ORGANIC PEST CONTROL in Beaverton, OR offers safe, eco-friendly pest control services customized to your home and garden needs.

Ryan, our fully-licensed master technician and pest control expert will ensure your home is completely free from ants and other pests – all year round.

For questions and free consultation, don’t hesitate to contact us.