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Hi Karin –
Common on indoor plants, whiteflies re small, sap-sucking insects often found in thick crowds on the undersides of leaves. When infested plants are disturbed, great clouds of the winged adults fly into the air. They damage plants by sucking the juices from new growth causing stunted growth, leaf yellowing and reduced yields. Here’s how to get rid of whitefly using proven, organic techniques.
Yellow sticky traps are helpful for monitoring and suppressing adult populations.
If found, use the Bug Blaster to hose off plants with a strong stream of water and reduce pest numbers.
Natural predators of this pest include ladybugs and lacewing larvae, which feed on their eggs and the whitefly parasite which destroys nymphs and pupae. For best results, make releases when pest levels are low to medium. If using ladybugs indoors, wrap the plants with gardening fabric (row cover) and place them inside the cover. This helps keep the bugs around the pest problem and has been proven to be very successful.
Safer® Soap will work fast on heavy infestations. A short-lived natural pesticide, it works by damaging the outer layer of soft-bodied insect pests, causing dehydration and death within hours. Apply 2.5 oz/ gallon of water when insects are present, repeat every 7-10 day as needed.
BotaniGard ES is a highly effective biological insecticide containing Beauveria bassiana, an entomopathogenic fungus that attacks a long-list of troublesome crop pests – even resistant strains! Weekly applications can prevent insect population explosions and provide protection equal to or better than conventional chemical pesticides.
Organic Neem Oil can be sprayed on vegetables, fruit trees and flowers to kill eggs, larvae and adults. Mix 1 oz/ gallon of water and spray all leaf surfaces (including the undersides of leaves) until completely wet.
Fast-acting botanical insecticides should be used as a last resort. Derived from plants which have insecticidal properties, these natural pesticides have fewer harmful side effects than synthetic chemicals and break down more quickly in the environment.
Hope it helps!