Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tiny, Yellow, Biting Bugs

a thrips next to a leaf vein
Have you every felt a sharp pinch while outside during summer only to find a tiny, yellow, sliver-like bug when you investigate the bite?

These bites are from a tiny insect called a thrips (the name is always plural; one thrips, many thrips).

Thrips normally feed on plants with very sharp, knife-like mouthparts. If they happen to land on us they can bite causing a sharp, stabbing pain. The bites are annoying but completely harmless and are more common in mid- to late summer. Unfortunately, insect repellents don't work against thrips. See this article at the 'Bugs website for more information.

Thrips can be important plant pests where they damage leaves and in some cases even infect plants with a virus. Greenhouse growers in particular often treat their crops with insecticide to prevent thrips damage. 

drawing showing feathery wings



kevin shuler said...

Thanks for sharing. These are some nasty little monsters.

kevin shuler said...

Thanks for sharing. They are some mean little monsters.

kimberly strickland said...

I think one bit me in my house but its winter

John Garrison said...

I can't even sit on my porch without smacking myself until they run me in my own house.

Gail Ross said...

Yes, they are! Not completely harmless if you have an allergic reaction to the bite either! Little devils.