What are these little critters!

Asked November 30, 2018, 10:57 PM EST

Brought in the hibiscus tree a few weeks ago, and we noticed these little bugs on it earlier this week and we have no idea what they are. Most are black, but a few are red. They are on the bark of the tree, not on the leafs. There are a few small webs on the tree. Any help is much appreciated!

Baltimore Maryland

1 Response

Although we couldn't see them clearly in the photos, they appear to be one of the large species of thrips. Hibiscus is known to host a large thrip species. Here are photos and info: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/thrips-houseplants

You can use a houseplant insecticide for these. Horticultural oil, horticultural soap and the ingredients pyrethrin or spinosad all should be effective on thrips. You might want to take the plant outside on a mild day in order to spray. Cover all plant surfaces.
Follow the insecticide label directions, especially be aware of temperature limits.

A plant this infested is a danger to your other plants. You might consider returning it immediately or disposing of it.

ECN