Have you ever shaken a plant just to see a whole troop of whiteflies dropping down from the leaves? If you happened to see such a sight, then it is an alarming call for your plants as they can be under high risk. Whitefly problems in the garden is a common issue that you can find if you have a beautiful garden or yard.
Whiteflies are white colored tiny insects, or you may call it pests as well which can infect the plants in your yards and garden. These flies belong to the Hemoptera family and are often coined the name of aphid’s cousins. There are about thousands of different whitefly breeds that can infect plants and trees. These can hamper your plants and change the beautiful landscape of the green fresh-leaved trees into brown and wilted ones if these insects happen to feed on your plants.
These whiteflies are white colored winged insects with a soft body and are also known as Aleyrodidae. They are very small in size, and you cannot predict these insects to be there on your plants until you closely vigil your plants. They are so tiny in their build that they are camouflaged, and you cannot spot them easily. They are usually one-twelfth of an inch in size and have a triangular body shape. They are most active during the day and reproduce during winters. They can damage the houseplants to a great extent though it may take a long time to destroy a plant entirely.
Table of Contents
- The Lifecycle of Whiteflies
- Identification of Whiteflies
- Plants Affected by Whiteflies
- How to Control Whitefly and Get Rid of Them Naturally?
The Lifecycle of Whiteflies
The adult female whiteflies lay its eggs during the winters on the undersides of the leaves in the form of clusters. At a time, these female whiteflies can lay up to 400 eggs which takes an approximate time period of a week to hatch. The very first phase after the eggs hatch up is the nymph. They are termed to be crawlers that can crawl a short distance moving away from the egg to feed on the leaves. Looking at these crawlers, one can even think them to be mealy bugs due to the resemblance that they have with these mealy bugs. This is the first stage when these whiteflies nymphs move to feed on the leaves and in the second, third and fourth stage there is no movement. A pupa emerges out of the nymph which transforms these young ones into an adult whitefly further leading to the repetition of this whole cycle. The average lifespan of these whiteflies is about two months, but you can get to see generations after generations in a year.
Identification of Whiteflies
- Whiteflies are plant juice suckers, and they secrete a sticky substance in return known as honeydew. If you happen to see these honeydew drops on the leaves of your plants or stem, then there are high chances that your plants are infested with whiteflies. These honeydew drops can cause fungal infections to your plant leaves.
- If your plants are attacked by whiteflies, then the plants start turning weak which can be a symptom to suspect whiteflies. Whiteflies feed on plants and weaken them ultimately resulting as a hindrance for the proper photosynthesis process to take place.
- Honeydew not only causes fungal infections but can also serve as an attracting agent for ants. So if you are finding ants crawling on your plants then again you are sure to spot whiteflies as well.
- Keep a check on the undersides of the foliage’s because this is the place where these whiteflies hide themselves.
- If you do not see the adult whiteflies and see white clusters on the undersides of the leaves, then this is not some stray material that just flew and got stuck to the leaves but are the eggs of whiteflies. So start taking all the steps to control whiteflies because these clusters are basically the eggs which will give birth to a swarm of these whiteflies.
Plants Affected by Whiteflies
Whiteflies can pester your garden and infect different types of plants but here are their favorites
- Sweet potatoes
How to Control Whitefly and Get Rid of Them Naturally?
Whitefly problems in the garden is a common problem and result in weakening the health of plants. The weakening further results in diseases and fungal infections that may affect the development of the plants and completely wreck the plants as well. Thus it is essential to free your garden from these tiny monsters that are undoubtedly white in color but does not let you have a peace in mind that the white color signifies. Opting for a Home remedy to control whitefly naturally is a feasible way of controlling whiteflies population. Natural solutions for killing these pests are a good thing to adapt to get free from them without causing harm to your pets and children who may accidentally come in contact with the chemicals sprayed on the trees for killing these insects. Not only ate they safe to use but also do not leave behind any residue that can prove to be harmful to the environment. Pesticides can give you results but they can harm the beneficial insects too, so it is always better to use natural remedies for getting rid of these unwanted guests in your garden.
If you are thinking of ways on how to get rid of whitefly, here are few natural remedies that you can use for getting rid of whiteflies:
1. The vacuuming hack
Yes, your vacuum cleaners can come to your rescue when you want to eliminate these white flies from your plants. It is the easiest Home remedy to control whitefly naturally. The furniture cleaning hose can be the apt tool that you can use for evacuating these whiteflies. You can use the high-pressure air coming out of the vacuum cleaner nozzles to shove off these which stands as an effective remedy of Controlling whitefly infesting the undersides of plant leaves. This vacuum hack can get a quick cure for your plants and prove to be highly effective in vacating these plant nibbling creatures from the plants. These whiteflies get collected in the trash bins of your vacuum cleaner, and you can dispose of those trash bags in such a way so that these flies don’t get an entry to your gardens again. This is one of the Safe and Natural Ways for Getting Rid of Whiteflies. You can also use high force jet water spray for performing the same.
How to get rid of whitefly is a common question that can creep in your mind when you happen to see these white tiny insects crawling on your plants. Handpicking comes in the line of expert suggestions to get rid of whitefly in a natural way. You merely need to keep a check on the leaves of the plants and handpick those leaves which are infested by whiteflies. You can also use garden trimmers and cut off the leaves which are infected and collect it all in a garbage bin so to not let out these crawlies crawling back to your plants. Also, check for wax liquids on the leaves, this is the symptom if the leaves are highly infested by these flies and are produced when these flies suck up the plant juices. If you happen to spot such sticky liquid, then your plants are highly infested and can make the leaves go wilted and pale colored. So, ensure that you pluck out such leaves and dispose of them properly.
3. The soapy hack
Soap solution is one of the DIY methods to control whitefly in the garden. You can easily prepare this solution at home, for this you need to mix dish soap in water and rinse the infected leaves in it. Another thing to keep in mind is that this soapy solution can only kill the adult whiteflies and nit the eggs. So if your plants are infested with whiteflies, make sure that you use this dish soap water solution once every four to five days to ensure that the new young ones emerging out of the pupa. Another golden rule is to ensure that you use this solution after the sun goes down in order to avoid burning of leaves.
4. Earthworm Casting
If you are looking out for suggestions to get rid of whitefly in a natural way, then mixing earthworm casting to the fertilizers added to the soil can be of great help. Adding earthworm casting that is easily available in the market can be an effective way of keeping your plants safe. Earthworm castings are helpful in keeping off these whiteflies and repels them from making a home on your plants.
5. Predators for rescue
Having some helpful natural predators in your garden can prove to be helpful in controlling whitefly growth in your gardens. There are many natural predators that can help you gain control over the attack by these whitefly pests. Lacewings, beetles, ladybugs, wasps all prove to be beneficial predators that feed on the whiteflies to stop their colonies from infesting plants. But make sure that you perform a proper research before introducing natural predators to your garden, introduce only those which will not prove to be harmful to you in the future. So bringing in few natural whitefly enemies can secure your garden of these pests, you just need to know which ones to welcome. You can get these natural predators in nurseries, or you can purchase them online as well to set up an army to defend whiteflies.
6. Nitrogen level check
How to control whitefly is a question that has many answers and one is by managing the nitrogen content of the soil. The high nitrogen content in your garden soil can also be a source to attract these whiteflies, so keep an eye for the nitrogen level of the soil. Nitrogen is used as a fertilizer; thus it finds significant usage in your gardens, but too much of nitrogen can prove harmful for your plants as it attracts whiteflies. So try to maintain an adequate level of nitrogen so that you don’t wake up to see wilted and white fly infected foliage in your yards.
7. Planting companion plants
Flowering plants such as Mexican marigolds can pose a danger to these whiteflies. Planting these marigolds in your garden in combination with plants that can be infected by whiteflies can be one of the Safe and Natural Ways for Getting Rid of Whiteflies. Not only do these French and Mexican marigolds add charm to your garden but also aids in Controlling white flies too. These flowers let out a fragrance that cannot be digested by the whiteflies and ultimately results in vacating the plants that they have infested.
8. Sticky Traps
Sticky traps are another way of using safe methods for accomplishing the kill the whitefly drill. You can get to buy these yellow colored sticky traps in the market which entices the whiteflies towards itself ultimately trapping them. You can place these traps between two plants or even hang them to get these whiteflies sticking to it. In this way, you can also govern and keep a check if the infestation is worsening or getting better.
9. Inviting birds to your garden
Birds love to feed on these whiteflies and having birds such as purple martins, chickadees, hummingbirds can help your garden pest free. These birds can monitor your garden and eat up the whiteflies. But you need your garden to lend a welcoming hand for these birds. You can get these birds some natural shelter and food in your garden and Lo! you are ready with some monitors who will keep a check on these whiteflies hampering your garden.
10. Neem Oil Hack
Neem oil is an effective DIY method to control whitefly in the garden. Using neem oil as a whitefly repellent spray can also be helpful for controlling whiteflies in your garden. They can work out the magic of shedding off these whiteflies from the infested plants and its pungent fragrance and medicinal properties also refrains these pests from coming back. You can use this neem oil spray for prevention of your garden plants from whiteflies. Horticultural oils can also be used for serving the same functionality of eradicating these tiny plant eaters from your garden.
Use these tips and natural remedies and quickly get free of white flies.