There are different ways through which whitefly control can be done. These include natural, physical and chemical means. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Fruit fly elimination using these methods calls for consistency in use if any results are to be seen.
Whiteflies are tiny insects that suck up sap from plants. This results in the yellowing, wilting and at times dying of the leaves. Apart from causing damage by feeding on the plants’ juices, they also deposit a honeydew excretion on the underneath of the leaves. This spoils the appearance of the plants as well as hinders their ability to photosynthesize. The honeydew also attracts other insects that are damaging to the plant.
To be in a position to practice whitefly control, one has to know how to identify them. Adult whitefly has a white waxy coating on it. The female can lay about 200 eggs upon maturity. These are normally laid on the underneath of the leaves. They then hatch within a few days and go through given stages in the life cycle before emerging as adults. In most cases, the complete life cycle of the whitefly takes 20 to 30 days. During the summer, this could be less. They however do not hibernate during summer.
The whitefly is seen as a modern pest that has been created by the overuse of pesticide products. These tend to kill off their natural enemies. The insect also develops resistance to pesticides fast. With these in mind, how do you conduct whitefly control? There are different methods and techniques that one can use. Some of these areas discussed below.
Physical Whitefly Control
This involves doing a number of things early enough to control the spreading of the insects. Among the things that one can do include:
Vacuuming: This is best done in the early morning or late afternoon when the insects are least active. If this is done early enough, it will be possible to get rid of the adults before they lay too many eggs. Once vacuuming has been done, the vacuum bag is emptied; this is then put in a plastic bag and the ingredients are frozen for 24 hours. This will be enough to kill them.
Sticky yellow straps: These can be set around plants to help detect an infestation early enough. The reason why this works is because of the whitefly’s attachment to the color yellow. In case one tap or disturbs a plant that is infested, the flies are likely to move up to the trap. Other than early identification, they also help in catching the whiteflies, especially where they are in large populations.
Removal of infested leaves: It is also possible to control fruit flies by handpicking old leaves to help get rid of whiteflies in their nymphal stage. These should then be destroyed as the flies can hatch even when detached from the plant.
Avoid nitrogen products: Too much nitrogen in the plants helps in making plants succulent. The more succulent are, the more the whitefly population there will be. Avoid nitrogenous manure and fertilizers to avoid this. Also, ensure that the plants are not lacking in magnesium and phosphorous. These will help keep the whiteflies at bay.
Hosing: This can as well help wash off the flies. It should be done early in the morning for at least three days for effects to be seen.
This involves the use of naturally occurring organisms to control the whiteflies. Among some of the biological controls available are:
- Introducing whiteflies’ natural enemies: There are some natural predators that could be introduced to help get rid of the insects. These include lacewings, ground beetles, damsel bugs, hoverflies and ladybirds. Some of these natural predators such as the tiny wasp are commercially available. They normally feed on these insects without causing any damage to the plants.
The natural predators are likely to work out well in greenhouses as opposed to outdoor plants.
With this method, the best chemical whitefly control is the least toxic ones. The flies tend to show resistance to synthetic insecticides very fast. As such, organic sprays are the best to control them. The spray should be used immediately the adults appear. One should ensure that the underside parts of the leaves get sprayed.
There also are insecticidal soap sprays that can help. These are more so great for the home gardens. They should be used every three days for two weeks for them to be effective. The last choice in non-toxic chemicals would be eco-oil spray. One can purchase or make one at home. Spray this onto plants every 10days.
Whitefly Insecticide-Whitefly Pesticide
It is possible to make use of whitefly insecticide to get rid of the flies. Beat a Bug Insect Spray is one brand that is known to be effective. These insecticides help to kill mature bugs upon contact. They also prevent the nymphal stage from maturing into adulthood. The nymphs will in most cases disappear after the plants have been treated.
Organic Whitefly Control
Whitefly control using organic means ensures that no toxic substances are introduced to the plants. There also is no harm done to the environment. For organic control, one could introduce beneficial insects. These are normally predators and will feed on the whiteflies. There are some that are commercially available and can be purchased from local stores. Planting marigold around the area with an infestation can also help to repel the whiteflies.
Whitefly Pest Control
There are many ways through which one can control whiteflies. One could make use of physical means such as vacuuming, using traps and removal of infected leaves. Chemical control involves the use of pesticide soaps and oils to get rid of the insects. There also are natural and organic ways of getting rid of them such as by introducing their natural predators.
Natural Whitefly Control
There are natural ways of controlling a whitefly infestation. These help to minimize toxins introduced to the plants. One natural way is by introducing natural predators. Lady beetles, lacewings, damsel bugs and wasps are some of the predators that can help get rid of the infestation. The use of natural oils to repel the insects can also work as a whitefly control method. Try out neem oil and see if it works.
How to Eliminate White Flies
There are different ways through which whiteflies can be eliminated. The physical means such as getting rid of infested leaves, hosing and the use of yellow traps can help. It is also possible to eliminate them naturally using their predators. Although chemicals could as well be used, one should settle for non-toxic chemicals.