Barley thrips are a pest found in barley throughout Western Canada. 

What are the Risks?

Barley thrips cause damage by feeding on plant tissues because they puncture plant cells and suck out the contents. With early and intensive feeding, head formation will produce small, shrivelled grains, and there will be issues in seed development at the top of the head. If thrip feeding on the flag leaf is severe, seed weight will be reduced because kernels do not fill properly.

What to Look For

Adult thrips:

  • Dark brown to black
  • About 2mm long
  • Females have feathery wings and males are wingless


  • Pale green to yellow (will often blend into the plant)
  • Will have red eyespots
  • Extremely small in size


Here are some ways you can help prevent barley thrips:

  • Scout for thrips before the crop is fully headed (when heads are just starting to emerge)
  • Check for adult thrips by peeling back the sheath

Related Links

Alberta Barley Thrips