Thrips / Thunderbugs / (German: Gewittertierchen / Fransenflügler)


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Those of you who know what those darn bugs are probably just got a faster heartbeat just thinking about those beasts.

For those of you who are in this time and age still able to feel empathy for unknown others: it seems I got rid of them as I don't see anything at the moment. But I'm still expecting to see it again.

Thrips are small little beasts (up to 3 mm long) that like this kind of warm weather and come in thousands. There are several kinds of them, some are pests, that can harm plants like tomatoes because they carry all kinds of plant diseases. Sometimes they bite humans without doing more harm than some skin irritation. To us they are harmless, but not to computer monitors. Those beasts are able to get into the display, between 'glass' and LCD. So you see them on your screen behind the glass.

Because of the heat we had all windows wide open yesterday. I found some thunderbugs in the gardines. I closed the windows, killed everything I found on the gardines, put on some stuff against insects (such things you put into electrical sockets that gives away some poison. Shouldn't be harmful to humans or pets, but to be honest, I'm not so sure about that. But in such cases I don't shy away from biological or chemical war). I put out the light in the office and waited.

A few hours later I thought it should be safe to return to the office, did a small test with modeling (to find a way to get a certain model), wrote something in this forum and ... yes, there was one crawling on my computer. I tried to wish it away, but it was in the display. First time in 17 years of tft-usage. (actually they shouldn't be able to get in, but if you have bad luck ...). If you see something like that on the screen, kill it and turn off your monitor asap.

You should never ever press on the screen, especially if something is moving on it. If it's inside and you squash it, the thip-slush will stay in it. Visible. This can be distracting (ok, probably less disctracting than if something is moving, but at least then you have a chance). If they are alive they could with a bit of luck leave your computer again.

Anything else I didn't know. I looked later on in the net and at least in German didn't find exactly the same what I did. As it seams, it had helped (you should get out those bugs as fast as possible before they have time to smear the display somehow or just simple die on you). So I thought I'd report it here if somebody else had the same problem.

I decided to put the iMac to sleep and getting a flashlight that I used to light the downside of the screen, having a bit of light on the silver part, before putting out the light in the room and having a mild heart attack. I turned off that insecticide thingy as I wanted the culprit very much alive. After a quarter of an hour I found a thrip on the lighted silver part, squashed it with glee (using toiletpaper).

I'm not sure if it was the one inside the monitor but it seemed to have the same size around 2 mm. Could have been a coincidence. I tested the screen, didn't find anything, praised my luck ... and had a thrip wandering inside my display. This time it was 3mm. Of course, it could have been my error, and still the same bug, but I think it was a second one. Because I wasn't sure I tried the same procedure, without any lights in the room than the flashlight and a closed door.

A quarter of an hour later I had a thrip with the right size on the same spot in the light, killed it with even more glee (and another toilet paper), tested the screen for a very short time. Open photoshop, new image, white background, a few 100 % size, full window. Nothing.

I sent the mac to sleep, let the flashlight burn, turned on the 'insect stop' (those little darlings could be immune, though), let the door open this time, turned on the light before the door and looked on my Ipad in the internet what one has to do in such a case.

At least in German I didn't read anywhere that you should turn off the monitor. They often recommend to put a light next to the screen and then waiting till those bugs find the way out of the monitor to the light source, somtimes you should put such a lamp under the monitor or whatever (which doesn't seem to be a good idea, the lamps often get hot after awhile and should stay in a vertical position). Some did quite complicated things.

All day through, though, I only used the iMac for checking mails (and looking for bugs with my white picture) and let the 'insect stop' running.

Maybe I just had pure luck but to me it seems a good method to get rid off those beasts very fast. (and now I got almost a heart attack because I saw a very small black spot ... it was part of a letter. Huh).

Anyway, I'm still scanning for those things. The real problem is, those thrips belong to the very few species that still thrive. The biomass of insects went down rapidly in the last years (at least I read that). It's not only the bees that are dying. Only the pests are doing well, except the cockroaches who are the one species that seem to be the exception to Helmut's 'night stand'-theory. The future belongs to them. They are very, very old and probably will stay around til our sun dies. The thrips probably will not live that long, but will be more and more a problem in the next years (not for computer monitors only).

Sorry about the longish post but maybe it helps someone.

Some negative aspects: I'm steadily scanning my screen for moving or unusual spots. It's darn hot in here at the moment. I probably got a few white hairs.

May the gods save you from thrips


Positive Side: In the last two hours nothing was seen. I really had a lot of luck (even I did the right things. You still need luck).


Well-known member
In Maine in the summer we have no-see-ums, tiny biting flies that can get through normal window screens.
I'm surrounded by trees and if I leave a light on in a room with a window open, a cloud of them will come in.
You can't even feel them biting until a little bump swells up.

Had a weird bug living in my keyboard years ago, but never behind the screen.
Some imac glass is only held on by magnets, they pop right off.


Active member
In Maine in the summer we have no-see-ums, tiny biting flies that can get through normal window screens.
Never heard of those, at least one nasty kind we haven't. Funny name. I live in the country, where we have quite a few things crawling, biting, flying, humming or whatever. And in summertime we absolutely have to open the windows, especially at night. Or I can't work anymore because of the heat.

Just before the house we have a wasp nest. As long as we don't open that window, we don't have a problem. In my old apartment I always had wa hornet's nest before the house and at one time 12 of them in my living room while I was watching a movie (getting a bit nervous after a while).

I only hurt pests like moskitos or those thunderbugs; even flies we catch with some old glass and let them live.

Had a weird bug living in my keyboard years ago, but never behind the screen.
Some imac glass is only held on by magnets, they pop right off.
I read that those Thrips are common worldwide. But with those iMacs you could at least clean the screen without a problem. With the newer ones it costs more than 500 $ to replace the display (probably rather something like a 1'000. Such things are very expensive here around).

Shift Studio

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No-see-ums are around here too (Calgary, Canada). If you’re in the bush a few hours north of here, the voraciousness of the little pests is nearly unfathomable.


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And now to the part with real, real, real bad luck.

The 2nd iMac was off all week. They crawled in anyway, 1 dead, 1 still alive that got out with the same trick as before. The dead one is still sticking to the screen. :(

Maybe, with a bit off luck, it will fall off later on.


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Some years ago I purchased a set of two suction gadgets (de:Dingsbums, pl Dingsbümse) for a few €. I can position them on the top in the left and right corner of the monitor and gently lever off the glass panel for cleaning (and a minor blow job :sick::mad::poop: for the rest of the iMac). Basically those are small versions of the suction caps used by glaziers when they manipulate large / heavy sheets of glass for shop fronts and the like.
Be aware that creepy crawlies can cause short circuits in some parts of the electric / electronic components. Of course, this can be a bit expensive.
Wow. And I thought all I had to worry about was cat hair. This gives new meaning to the term “a bug in the system.” Also sounds like a rather creepy horror movie as the main protagonist grows more desperate and paranoid in attempts to combat the little crawling menaces.

Godspeed Hasdrubal!


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Thank you. Sadly, that's not possible anymore since (mid?) 2012. Since then the glass is glued on (I had already checked after ZooHeads remark. This means living with the quite disturbing speck or pay some 1000 $ (in my country such stuff is usually very expensive). At least it's rather on the side.

That with the shorted cirquits seems to happen very seldom (even if the word bug for software errors stems from that). I found sometimes astonishing things inside computers. Only that one with the screws on the motherboard really got me thinking (was in a firm, laying there because the idiot who had put the pc together let it fall and forgot about it. The thing was opened for the first time through me). Not even that had a short cirquit.

Thank you.

Accurate and funny description of my situation. Like I mentioned, the software bugs come from that time when the parts where big, the programs simple and the problem usually caused by a real bug.

I really am a bit paranoid at the moment, checking lamps, glasses, gardines, walls and so on for those darn beasts. I saw only one inside our apartment yesterday night. That one, which crawled into my LG monitor. Was just a little bit to slow in getting it :(... Besides two older windows notebooks there is only an EIZO monitor left which wasn't infected as much as I know. Wasn't on, but obviously this doesn't mean a thing here.

What's really strange. They come somewhere somehow into our not so small apartment and head straight for the monitors which aren't even on. It's not very probable, but they don't care about that.

In the years before we had even more of those thrips here around. I managed that very few ever came inside, and only once I had had one ON the monitor.

Cat hair killed almost one of my older PCs. Must have been collected where I didn't get it with the vacuum cleaner, then the whole wad sucked in through the fans, thereby wrapped around a part of it without me noticing it. The second fan started to get a bit louder and then I got colored pixels all over the screen because the graphic card had overheated. The problem was, I had my accounting software on it that I didn't want on newer computers. Because of the law I have to keep that software still around for another 5 (!) years (I don't use it anymore since 5). The PC still would run, meanwhile sounding louder than most vacuum cleaners, and with a very psychedelic screen.


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* Maybe just Phoenician gnats from a previous touristy visitation to Helvetica?
* Copyright by the great Roger Dean and a few more.

Screenshot 2019-07-07 at 20.14.50.png

* Oops, that was 50 years ago when Jeanny and I were advanced toddlers and Woodstock was far away. Sniff :eek:
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Active member
@ Hasdrubal
How about putting up Blue Sticky Traps near the area where they enter your apartment?
Maybe that will attract them before they head to your computer equipment.
I guess these strips have a special color that attracts them.

As you already seem to know I guess they are attracted to gladiolus, fruit and vegs like tomatoes.

Don’t know if this link will help but it has an online Chat
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The situation described in your link is simple crazy.

Inside the house, including those in the gardines, I found no more than 20 of those little insects, so, if it wasn't for the monitors, it wouldn't have been a problem. And that they headed to the monitors, one of them not even on, is actually strange beyond belief. So they really got me on the wrong foot.

That with the traps is a good idea, but I just couldn't get those fast enough - I would have had to order them online and would have gotten them at the earliest on Monday, in all probability more like today or even tomorrow. Actually we have some yellow traps with some plants that were near the probable entry point. I even have a tomato plant there. The single thrip that went into the LG wasn't interested. But as small as they are they could have come through a closed window, meaning lots and lots of possible other entry points and therefore many, many traps were I probably would get a few problems with the spouse ...

Now I hope the season is over, but it's maybe a good idea to get such a thing or two for the office just in case.


Active member
@ Hasdrubal

Betroffene: Vielen Dank für die Ermutigung und den weisen Rat
Re: Paypal: Ich schätze, ich werde Paypal noch einmal untersuchen.

I hope this translated out right. . . I used Google Translate.

The English translation is:

Re: Upsetting People: Thanks for your encouragement and wise advice.
Re: Pay-Pal: Guess I'll look into Pay-Pal again.

My Best

:oops:Oops! I posted this on the wrong thread.
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Actually Google Translate isn't as bad as it once was. Not so long ago it only produced pure garbage. But even if those times are over, it's still not very good. "Betroffene" means something like 'those concerned' or 'affected'. So, in the first moment, I didn't get your meaning, because it's something completely different. With your English original on the other hand everything was clear.

Machine translation today is admittedly often much better then some (quite expensive) human translators. I've seen horrible things done by humans, and if in an englisch book something is written in German (like Kurt Vonnegut often did), it's almost always wrong.

But Google ... Well, I don't like the firm very much, because they have us as their product, and they try to piece every morsel of data about us together, keeping it and doing with that not even Got knows what. For the search engine there is a good alternative: They are not out to get your data and store every search you ever committed (that google tactic works best with a google account, so they really can be sure, that it was you who looked for this or that). Instead they just let you alone. Sometimes, when I write texts and have to do some research I still have to use Google because they have the better results and more of them. But most of the time duckduck is more than enough.

For translation purposes I have something even better: There is a paid version of the program for professional use, but the free version is more than a match for google translate. It's actually quiet good, the best I have ever seen up to now.

It made this of your message:
Re: Menschen verärgern: Vielen Dank für deine Ermutigung und deinen klugen Rat.
Re: Pay-Pal: Ich schätze, ich werde mich noch einmal mit Pay-Pal befassen.

It's much better then the Google version, fluid, and it doesn't look as if it was made by a machine (only 'wise' was made into something similar, but more like smart. It's in this case not as good, but more natural.

Try it out ;)

And sorry, it was nice that you answered in German, and my lenghty answer doesn't mean any disrespect or ungratefulness or whatever. But deepl is really a good tool, and there are several reasons to use it :).

Thank you, and have a thrips-free day


P.S.: Today we had the time for a little longer drive and got some electronic traps. I hope I will not really use them, but I feel actually safer (looks like a party light behind me).

But the reason for this thread was just to show my method of getting rid of those beasts if they get into a screen. Of 5 thrips I got 3 out, and one possible (with the LG I'm not 100 % sure, but I don't see it). I'm sure if the other still had been alive, I'd got that, too.


Active member
@ Hasdrubal
What a difference in the the two translations.
Thanks for the link to deepl. I have it bookmarked and will use it from now on.

Thanks for the reminder about using Duck Duck.
I believe some one on the forum mentioned the same in another thread.



Active member
@ Hasdrubal
I was cleaning my desktop off today and found a post I wanted to make regarding something you said in your Post #15 on this thread:
And sorry, it was nice that you answered in German, and my lenghty answer doesn't mean any disrespect or ungratefulness or whatever.
I know you aren't disrespectful. You are kindness.
I appreciate your more detailed explanations.
They help me to understand what is being conveyed better.

By-the-way: I'm glad you are now armed and prepared for any future thrip attacks.

Thanks a lot.

To be honest, sometimes I am disrespectful and not kind at all. The older I get, the less tolerance I have for other people's aggressive stupidity, malevolence, ego(t)ism and those who try to bullshit me. I speak my mind, honestly, and usually say what people would like to say but are afraid of (on the other hand, every compliment I make is heartfelt). To be on the road with me can be very funny (my life partner, who is kindness herself, thinks that up to now nobody got hurt who didn't have it coming, though. And for her it's really hard sometimes to keep a straight face and not to crack up laughing). Of course it often would be much better just to shut up. Don't get me wrong. I don't have a problem with people who need further explanations or who just don't understand something, and actually I'm getting along very well with the majority. At least nobody could say I was a hypocrite and a career in diplomacy is certainly out of the question.

About the thrips ... They invaded big time after I expressed my hope that the season was over and caused further damage (for example one got into a sealed double-glazed window). We were careful, so none made it into one of our monitors again. The worst was the heat wave because we could only have open windows on one side. Nothing with draft to cool the rooms down at night ... For a week or so I couldn't get much work done (but well, we still had a good time outside, for example eating great gelati or going into the nature).


Well-known member
Heard this somewhere; (no -one in mind by the way)
Better to remain quiet and have people think you are a fool.
Than to speak and prove it. (something like that.)