Choose a country to see content specific to your location

Skip to main content

Onion Thrips

Thrips tabaci

Onion Thrips

Onion thrips are a tiny, oblong insect with feather-like wings. Throughout the life-cycle, onion thrips target the leaves of onion plants. They feed by sucking the liquid from plant tissue, and by doing so can spread nasty diseases. Commercial onion farms are most at risk of significant losses in yield. Infestations are less likely in gardens, but still possible nonetheless.
Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play


Heavy infestations can impede plant growth.


Adults: They range from 0.8 - 1.2mm. Colour-wise, these insects can appear yellowish to dark grey. Nymphs: The nymphs look identical to the adults; however, are smaller in size and lack wings. Eggs: They are so tiny, they're almost impossible to see with the naked eye.


New growth is stunted of dies back. Flower discolouration. Loss of colour in leaves. Twisting and distortion of new growth. Foliage may darken and wilt.












Biological treatment

Attracting predatory insects such as lacewing can help control thrips in your garden. Provide a refuge for natural garden enemies by incorporating strips of wildflowers or native grasses. Likewise, hanging baskets, climbing plants and log piles make great hiding spots for spiders, predatory bugs and centipedes. Biocontrol is not recommended for commercial growers that may use chemicals to eradicate pests.

Chemical treatment

Organic insecticides are suggested if you have noticed significant dulling in leaves before late summer.


A vase of flowers on a plant


Allium cepa

Welsh Onion

Allium fistulosum


Allium sativum


Allium porrum


Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Plant Knowledge

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play


About usCareersPrivacy policy

Candide is your guide to visiting UK public gardens. Find the best gardens, buy tickets and enter with just your phone. Download the app for offline tickets, community access and more.

Terms & ConditionsCode of Conduct

© 2023 Candide

Made in Bristol