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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Chilli Thrips

Scirtothrips dorsalis

Recognize the problem

Thrips are a major insect pest of chilli. Thrips are too small to be seen by the naked eye. They are sucking insects that damage the new leaves, stems and fruit. They can fly from one plant to another. Attacked plants are stunted, do not flower or fruit and their leaves curl.  Thrips can cause losses of 70 -80%.


The direct damage from the thrips is severe but they can also transmit viruses from one plant to another. Both dry and wet weather can be favourable for the spread of thrips. Thrips attack tender and new leaves first.


  • To avoid thrips attack, do not cultivate similar crops like tomato, brinjal, potato and okra in the surrounding area
  • Monitor the crop to identify the thrips problem when the first attack 
  • Urgently consult with the subject matter specialist (SMS)

Local practice:

  • Spray cow urine and neem plant extract with the help of broom or sprayer to repel the thrips


  • Use dimethoate at the rate of 2 ml/ litre of water   
  • Keep up the spray regime

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Nepal

Authors: Ramesh Chandra Subedi
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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