Whiteflies are tiny insects that excrete a sticky honeydew that can be found in groups on the underside of leaks. White wax covers the body-hence the name whitefly. They suck the phloem of sap causing leaves to turn yellow, dry up, and fall off. Not only that, these insects can transmit plant diseases that will cripple your garden! If you have noticed a small population, here’s what you can do to manage these unwanted visitors.
Where did they come from?
Outbreaks occur when the natural biological control is disrupted. They multiply quickly in warm weather and in environments where their natural enemies have been removed. Although heavy infestations are difficult to exterminate, there are a couple of ways that you can approach it.
Before you go down to your local hardware store and grab a bottle of pesticide, you should be aware that most insecticides do not work very well. Normally, they may reduce the infection but they never fully eradicate the problem! Be careful when using chemical repellents because whiteflies can become immune to them as they are constantly evolving and adapting!
5 Ways to Get Rid of Whiteflies
• Remove as much of the affected area as possible without harming the plant.
• Place the trimmings in a bag to keep them from spreading to other plants.
• Marigolds tend to repel whiteflies very well. You can find these at most Nursery’s or Garden Stores.
• These include green lacewings, lady beetles, minute pirate bugs, and damsel bugs. Many of these natural enemies can be purchased at commercial insecticide stores.
• Surrounding the infected plant with repellents will help to restore the balance provided by its natural environment.
Yellow Sticky Pad
• Whiteflies are attracted to the color yellow.
• Hang a yellow piece of cardboard or wood with a sticky substance applied to it.
• Sticky traps can be purchased from garden stores or you can make them at home with a combination of glue and motor oil.
Home-made Garlic Solution
• Sit a whole head of garlic in a 1 gallon jug of water and let it sit in the sun for 2 weeks.
• Strain out any solid fibers.
• Put your garlic solution in a spray bottle using a concotion of 1 cup for every quart of water with ¼ teaspoon of dishwashing soap.
• Use your solution to spray infected areas. One whiff of this and they won’t want to come back!
• Spray the underside of the leaves with a soapy solution!
• You should repeat this application every 3 days for 2-4 weeks.
• Depending on the severity of your infestation, you can try using water pressure to remove whiteflies from the plant. Simply use a water hose with a spray nozzle!
About this Post
Cheryl Khan is an interior designer and freelancer. She loves dancing with friends and watching America’s Funniest Home Videos.