Q: I have discovered these tiny critters all over my gardenia bush, only in the flowers from what I can see, as well as in my gladiolus. What are these and how can I get rid of them?
A: It’s one of the few creatures for which the name is the same both singular and plural: thrips.
Thrips hide inside flower buds and chew on the edges of petals. When the bloom opens, the damage is evident for all to see.
Because they hide themselves so effectively, thrips are difficult to control. Systemic insecticides (click for sources) can be helpful. Sprays containing spinosad (click for sources) are also effective.