The myporum thrips is a tiny, recently-arrived insect, native to New Zealand, that has been devastating two species of myoporum (Myoporum laetum and M. pacificum) widely planted in California landscapes. These species have been popular because of their visual appeal and low maintenance and water requirements. Feeding by the thrips severely distorts new leaves and terminals, making plants unsightly.
This pest is very difficult to manage, although systemic insecticides can provide some control. Many gardeners may choose to replant with non-susceptible plant species. Read more about biology and management of this pest in the new UC IPM Pest Note: Myoporum Thrips by J.A. Bethke and L. Bates, UCCE San Diego.