KAC Citrus Entomology
University of California
KAC Citrus Entomology


Below is a summary of control methods. For more detailed explanations, consult the UC IPM Guidelines for Citrus: Citrus Thrips.

An excellent discussion of citrus thrips management is the Citrograph article, 
"Management of citrus thrips to reduce the evolution of resistance" by Joseph Morse and Beth Grafton-Cardwell Citrograph Apr-May 2012 Morse & Grafton-Cardwell

Biological Control:
Euseius tularensis predatory mites (and closely related species) help to reduce both citrus thrips and citrus red mites.  They may not reduce citrus thrips below an economic threshold because they feed on pollen, thrips, mites and leaf sap and so are not targeting thrips.  To maximize their success, you must avoid broad spectrum insecticides, internally prune the trees and reduce dust and other materials that coat the leaves.

Insecticidal Control:
There are a number of groups of insecticides that are effective in reducing citrus thrips, but each has characteristics tht may make it more more appropriate for a a particular orchard.

Organophosphate and carbamate insecticides
These pesticides act as broad spectrum nerve poisons. They are toxic to the thrips and their natural enemies. They were very effective for many years until resistance developed in a number of populations, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. Many of the natual enemies have developed enough resistance to the organophosphates, that they survive single applications or low rates.  
Cygon (dimethoate)
Carzol (formetanate)


These pesticides are broad spectrum and many populations of thrips rapidly developed resistance.  They are highly toxic to all natural enemy groups. 
Baythroid (cyfluthrin)
Danitol (fenpropathrin)
Mustang (zeta cypermethrin)

Spinosyn, abamectin Insecticides:
This group of insecticides is more selective than the OPs, carbamates and pyrethroids, allowing most natural enemies to survive.  Of the three, Success is the most selective. 
Success (spinosad)
Delegate (spinetoram)
Agri-Mek (abamectin)

Webmaster Email: eegraftoncardwell@ucanr.edu