Thrips And People

Thrips are seldom noticed except when they become pests on garden and crop plants. Their feeding activities damage leaves, flowers, and fruit. However, they cause the most damage by spreading plant diseases. Although generally considered pests, less than ten percent of all known species are known to damage or infect crops.

When their populations reach high numbers, some thrips may bite humans by probing the skin with their mouthparts. Their thigmotactic behavior has resulted in thrips setting off smoke detectors as they enter these devices to seek shelter during mass flights in late summer.

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