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I recently noticed that my weeping fig isn't going well and many of its leaves have white traces and black dots on them. After inspecting the leaves for a while, I think I found the culprit. It is about 1 mm long, it moves extremely slowly, and it looks like this:

enter image description here

While it looks very friendly and has little cute eyes, my ficus doesn't seem to appreciate its company, and therefore I don't either.

What is it, and how do I get rid of this sort of pest? Is it a sort of thrips, or something else?

  • Colin is right. These are thrips. They are extremely hard to get rid of as the kids live inside the leafs and the adults live on the leaf and can fly when disturbed. I recommend getting rid of the plant unless you don;t mind using toxic pesticides.... – kevinsky Feb 24 at 3:11
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University of Florida has a paper on Gynaikothrips showing that the larvae are this white yellow colour which go on to produce adults which are black and are found on Ficus benjamina. Might want to take a close look and see if you can see the black guys on your ficus and compare with the description.

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You may end up having to use a chemical spray with pyrethrin on the plant. But, I would first recommend you try a natural product like BotaniGard ES. This helps keep the populations down with regular spraying. If you can take the plant outside and spray it down with a garden hose with a hose end sprayer, that will help knock them off before you start treatment. Good luck!

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