Worldwide distribution. A problem of many plant families - cabbages, cucumber, legume, potato, ornamentals, and weeds.
Feed on undersides of leaves, which become silvery or brown, and curl. Feeding on fruit when it is young produces scars when the fruit expands.
Spreads viruses, e.g., Tomato spotted wilt virus is widespread and important (not reported from Pacific island countries).
Cultural control: avoid planting near older crops; nurseries far from production areas and/or use thrips-proof netting; weed before planting; at harvest, collect trash and burn. For the control of TSWV use resistant varieties.
Chemical control: use soaps, oils, neem, or spinosad.