In a nutshell: Most damaging thrips species worldwide; generalist pest found on many different types of plants, especially cucumber; plant cell feeders—causes silvery patches on leaves and fruit; damages and deforms fruits, flowers and new leaves; important viral disease vector.
Thrips cause damage to plants by piercing the cells of the surface tissues and sucking out their contents, causing the surrounding tissue to die. The resulting silver-grey patches on leaves and the black dots of their excreta indicate their presence in the crop. The vigour of the plant is reduced by loss of chlorophyll. When infestations become serious the leaves themselves can shrivel.