Insecticide, sticky traps and predatory insects can be used to eliminate harmful thrips in the garden. Plain water and regular gardening maintenance help control a thrip population.
Spot treating is effective in removing the greatest number of harmful insects, while also minimizing damage to beneficial insects. Insecticide that contains neem oil or pyrethrin can be sprayed on only those plants that are infested to reduce pesticide exposure. Releasing predators is an alternative to using pesticides. Ladybugs, for example, can help reduce the number of thrips in the garden. The most common predators that can reduce thrips include lacewings, ladybugs and minute pirate bugs.
To remove thrips with plain water, a high pressure sprayer is required during regular watering. The water pressure should be high enough to remove the insects without causing damage to the plants. Blue and yellow sticky traps can be used in combination with these other control methods. Traps can be placed throughout the garden to eliminate mature and developing thrips.
Removing plants with serious infestations immediately and pruning dead or damaged plants on a regular basis aids in controlling thrip populations. The discarded plants can be placed inside a heavy garbage bag that is tied tightly to prevent the insects from infesting surrounding crops.