Thrips (both singular and plural BTW) are tiny creatures
measuring only about 1/20th of an inch. Open up a
browning flower bud caused by thrips, you should find
things that resemble brown or straw colored slivers of
wood. If they move around, they are thrips.
There are several species
of thrips but it takes a trained entomologist to tell
the difference. They have rasping mouth parts which cut
into the plant tissue and then the thrips feed on the
juices released in the wounds. Most of their time is
spent hidden inside flower buds.
Thrips are migratory
insects that move long distances on wind currents so
they can quickly move into an area and start feeding.
They are usually at their peak numbers in late spring
into midsummer. Since they cause damage by cutting into
the plant tissue, they are especially harmful during