Thrips are tiny black insects which fly or jump from leaf to leaf, causing tell-tale silvery streaks.
Thrips cause the worst damage on flowers which become spotted and distorted. They also cause stunted growth.
Many houseplants are affected by thrips but Begonia, Codiaeum and Fuchsia are highly susceptible to Thrips.
1. Take the affected houseplant outside or to a sink and wash them off with a high pressure stream of water.
2. If the houseplant has delicate foliage, turn the plant upside down and dip the foliage in a bucket of water to wash the pests off. Repeat as necessary.
3. A light infestation by Thrips can be dealt with by wiping them off with a cotton bud dabbed in a solution of 4 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol followed by thorough spraying of the plant with the solution. Repeat as necessary.
4. Thoroughly spray the affected houseplant with a systemic Pyrethrin-based insecticidal spray at the first sign of infestation and repeat as necessary as per the manufacturer's recommendations.