Pesky Thrips Get Under Your Skin

Plant eating bugs probe people's skin

People who spend a lot of time planting in the yard or enjoying flowers anywhere outdoors have probably been annoyed by bugs they can feel, but can't see.

The tiny, annoying critters are known as Thrips.

They are small plant eating insects that live in the soil and spring up in the warmer months.

“Thrips are everywhere in the world,” said Dr. Michael Merchant with the Texas Agrilife Research and Extension Center at Dallas.

They're smaller than gnats and when they land on a person it feels like they’re biting the skin. But the insects are too tiny to bite.

What they are really doing is probing.

“They taste us and they find very quickly that were not a tasty plant and they leave us alone after that, but in the meantime we get a little annoying pin prick like sensation on the skin,” said Merchant

Where ever there's plants you’re probably going to find Thrips. There are thousands of species and they are difficult to get rid of.

“There’s not much of a way to get rid of these little critters because they are everywhere in the air and we can’t avoid them anymore than we can avoid rain, said Merchant.

Just about the only thing a person can do is rinse their arms with water to alleviate discomfort brough on by the pesky, probing bugs.


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