Interactions among insect pests, crops and weeds are well recognised. In fact, the elimination of weed hosts outside of the crop is a common practice to control many insect-vectored viruses. However, little is known about interactions among insect pests, crops and native vegetation, and whether native plants may be used to revegetate areas where weed hosts have been eliminated as part of horticultural management regimes. We used the Northern Adelaide Plains horticultural region (South Australia, Australia) as a model system to study the potential of various plant taxa in hosting four pest thrips (three exotic, one native; Frankliniella occidentalis, F. schultzei, Thrips tabaci and T. imaginis) when located adjacent to, and distant from, horticultural crops. Flower funnels were used for standardised sampling of thrips on flowers from 19 exotic weed and 12 native plant species, representing 13 and three families, respectively. Flowers were sampled monthly over a year, and statistical analyses were performed to identify significant determinants of probability of thrips occurrence and density. Plant family was found to significantly influence both measures for each thrips species. In addition, crop proximity influenced the probability of occurrence for the two Frankliniella species (but only influenced density of the key pest F. occidentalis), and season influenced density of all four pest thrips. All native plant species tested had a low likelihood of hosting the three exotic thrips species. Overall, results suggest that judicious choice of surrounding vegetation has potential to be an important component of integrated pest management (IPM) while increasing biodiversity conservation.