Are thrips and fruit flies enemies?

Thrips made their appearance on my mulberries (on the fruits, not the leaves) about three weeks ago…Just a few at first but now they are plentiful. But what I haven’t seen is a single fruit fly…Last year I had some fruit flies, but no thrips. I have no idea which species, but they are less than a millimeter in length and have a tan body.

Thrips are enemies number one for my nectarines. They just do damage so early. It is very difficult to spray at blooms while worrying about hurting bees.

The damage of thrips on nectarines are more obvoius than on my other stone fruit.


I would assume they work in tandem since fruit flies larvae damage roots and the larval phase of thrips is in the ground. Beneficial predators are a excellent control for thrips like Lacewings, Lady Bugs and the Beneficial nematodes (never applied in a pesticide sprayer) for the soil.

Also spinosad knocks there socks off


Luckily bees aren’t attracted to mulberry “flowers”…so I ordered some Spinosad. I tried dish soap and vegetable oil spray…and it works to a degree. Tomorrow I am going to try a spray someone recommended: soap, oil, garlic and hot pepper spray.

For thrips, I will have to go with insecticide. I have Spinosad.

1 Like

Richard: I am not familiar with fruit fly larvae (maggots) damage of fruit tree roots and would appreciate any clarifications or citations.

Family Anthomyiidae - Root-Maggot Flies; these damage various vegetable roots or bulbs.

Family Tephritidae - Fruit Flies; these do pupate on the ground.

Im sure they are not the actual fruit flies with red eyes that darwin did his experiments on from the tropics. The ones we have here in Colorado seem to be small brown gnat like things that eat on mainly soft or damaged fruit like peaches and it is my understanding that they reproduce in the fruit and overwinter also in the soil on various roots etc…

Thank you.