- May 8, 2013
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Introduction:To start with it is advisable to check out the USDA white fly knowledgebase.Visit:http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/fasulo/whiteflies/wfly0002.htm
When researching the white fly , it is mandatory to refer to the research done by experts at the University of Florida web: Qoute:”
“”During the 1920s whiteflies were considered the most serious citrus pest in Florida. The University of Florida imported several fungi parasitic to whiteflies in the early 1930s. Since then, whiteflies have declined in importance and today groves are seldom sprayed just to control them.”Unqoute.Not until ten years ago ,where the white fly infestation has resurfaced impeding a renewal of efforts to control this serious threat to S.Florida Agriculture.
There are numerous ways to engage the white fly.1-The chemical pesticide way including the systemic treatment by chemical injection .2-The prevention natural way.We are interested in tackling the prevention natural way that includes but is not restricted to:
a).Cold Water Spray: Repeatedly and Aggressively Hose the affected leaves with cold water early AM and PM
Keep in mind that the whitefly evolves in 4 stages, from eggs to nymphs, to pupa, to the adult fly. The method used will not kill all stages. So if the method targets the adult fly, repeated application will be needed until all eggs have matured. Moreover, frequent application will be needed to ensure that the newly formed adults do not lay new eggs. For the best application timeframe you should check the life span and stages of the whitefly of interest, as the Silverleaf, Fig, Greenhouse, and Bandedwing have each a different lifespan.
b)Soapy Water (This method may also help improve the success from other methods as it will decrease the whitefly population to be eliminated):
Spray wash your plants with a soapy solution, especially the underside of the leaves where the insects live.
Color me yellow: Whiteflies can’t resist the color yellow, and so most garden centers and catalogs sell packaged yellow sticky traps for houseplant and greenhouse protection. These are great for all indoor situations, and even for a few potted plants outside. But if you need to protect large areas outdoors, you might want to make your own bigger ones. Paint sheets of plastic or cardboard bright lemon yellow and coat them with an “insect trapping adhesive” (sticky stuff), like Tanglefoot. Hang the traps around the affected plants and the adults will get stuck to them.
This method only kills the adult insect. Repeated application every 3 or 4 days to eliminate the new white flies emerging from pupa. Continue for several weeks depending on the type of white fly.
Plant marigold, except pot marigold or calendulas,complimentary herbs like sage,lemon grass,rosemary etc… These are companion plants that tend to repel white flies.
Use a natural predator. The right predator will depend on the type of whitefly. These predators include green lacewings, lady beetles, bugs, minute pirate bugs, big eyed bugs, wasps, and damsel bugs.
Use a natural tree oil as spray, such as Neem oil.Please refer to my latest blog refering to NEEM TREE solutions for combating the white fly.
Spray earthworm castings at the base of the plant.