How to Control Whitefly Problem on Houseplants
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Whiteflies are prolific. These tiny heart-shaped flies rest in large numbers on the underside of leaves, and when the plant is touched or touched, the flies fly away in a sudden large cloud.
Whiteflies are a common problem in greenhouses, hot climates, and indoors. They can't tolerate cold weather, but an indoor whitefly infestation can quickly spiral out of control. It is best to treat whiteflies at the first sign of the insect.
These irritating insects are not only a nasty surprise to plant owners, but they are also problematic for plant health. Nymphs and various larval stages attach to the soft tissue of the plant and feed on the plant and secrete honeydew, increasing the risk of fungal diseases and can attract other pests.
Whiteflies hatch from small cone-shaped eggs and transform into small scale-shaped insects that can travel along the stem of the plant. The scales transform into nymphs, which then go through several other growth stages before entering a brief resting stage and emerging as adult flies. During almost all stages of their development, they continue to feed on the plant.
The full life cycle lasts about 30 days, but this varies depending on the temperature. In warmer climates, they reproduce more quickly and in colder climates, their growth cycle slows down.
How to Get Rid of Whiteflies on Houseplants
Like most pests, the best whitefly control is a solid defense. Healthy, vigorous plants are less susceptible to infestation than weak plants, insufficiently patched and stressed. As a general rule of thumb, make sure your plants are healthy, and you're less likely to attract these pesky critters.
If you see whiteflies on your indoor plants, there are several control options:
- Vacuum them away: Use your vacuum cleaner's hose attachment to suck up adult whiteflies (but be careful not to damage the plant). Make sure newborn whiteflies cannot escape from your vacuum bag.
- Sticky tape: The same tape that works for whiteflies can be used for whiteflies. Hang it on the infected plant, if possible, and follow the directions on the label.
- Insecticidal soap: Buy insecticidal soaps, such as Safer's Insecticidal Soap, or make yours with a dishwashing detergent, such as Ivory Liquid. Try to find a product without perfumes or additives that can harm plants. Mix the soap in a weak concentration with water (starting with 1 teaspoon per gallon and increasing as needed). Spray on the plants. This will help control the population but is unlikely to eliminate it.
- Neem oil: Neem oil is derived from the neem tree. In addition to its insecticidal properties, neem is also a fungicide and has systemic benefits, that is, it is absorbed by the plant to control insects that may not come into direct contact with a spray. According to the Environmental Protection Association, neem is safe to use on vegetables and food plants, as well as ornamental plants. Like insecticidal soap, neem is helpful in controlling whitefly populations, but it may not eliminate the problem. Multiple applications may be required.
- Kitchen insect spray: This all-purpose spray was developed by the editors of Organic Gardening magazine. To make a batch, combine a garlic bulb, a small onion, and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a food processor or blender and process to a paste. Mix in 1 liter of water and let it rest for an hour. Clean with cheesecloth and add 1 tablespoon of liquid detergent. Mix well. The mixture can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Enjoy This Video Tutorial About Control whitefly
Source: Gardening Australia
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