Very small flies are among the pests seen on magnolia (Magnolia spp.) trees. Magnolia trees come in a range of sizes and bloom with showy flowers in spring. The deciduous or evergreen trees grow best in well-drained, fertile ground.
Thrips are very small, fly-like pests with delicate, narrow, fringed wings. Adults are 1/20 inch or less in length. Young thrips, called nymphs, are similarly structured but are wingless. Thrips come in different colors depending on species.
Thrips damage plants by feeding on fast-growing tissue contents. Thrips get inside closed buds and new leaves to feed, making the damage evident before the thrips are identified. Damage results in discoloration, distortion and black specks of feces on flowers and foliage. Petals are often streaked in brown. There is defoliation and stunted plant growth.
Use sticky traps to capture thirps. Introduce minute pirate bugs and predaceous mites in infested plants. Keep plants clear of weeds and debris. Chemical control options include the use of azadirachtin, neem oil and pyrethrins.