Thrips, the common name of an order of very small insects. Thrips range in length from about 0.02 to 0.3 inch (0.5 to 8 mm) and are usually black. There are about 5,000 species, of which more than 600 are found in North America, north of Mexico. Most species have four wings, although some species have no wings. The mouth parts are adapted for piercing and sucking or rasping. Female thrips of some species are able to switch between laying eggs and bearing live young. In some species, no males are known to exist, and the eggs develop without fertilization.
Many thrips injure plants by eating the fruit and foliage or by transmitting viral diseases to the plants. Among the most injurious species are the flower thrips; green-house thrips; pear thrips; and tobacco, or onion, thrips. Thrips can be controlled by the use of insecticides.
Thrips make up the insect order Thysanoptera.Thrips are short, slender insects that feed on plants.