Easy ways to remove whiteflies
Whiteflies are annoying little pests that suck the life out of your desert plants. Their larvae feed on the plant, sucking the water out of the cells. There are a few things you can do to reduce or eliminate these pests:
1. Blast the whole plant with water. Use soapy water if you can. This MUST be done at the end of the day (sundown) or our blistering desert sun will burn your leaves to a crisp!
2. Use sticky tape. Place some sticky tape (fly tape – you can get a 4 pack usually at the dollar store) on a stake, paper plate, etc and stick it in the ground next to the plant you are having trouble with. You should notice tons of whiteflies after a couple of days. Try to get yellow sticky traps because they are super attracted to the color yellow!
3. How is your ant population? In 90% of the whitefly cases we see the culprit is ants. Whiteflies produce a sugary substance ants absolutely love and the ants sometimes act like bodyguards, helping to ward off other insects. Get rid of the ants with some baits and your problem should lessen.
4. Get out your handheld vacuum and suck them up! They are the crankiest at dawn, when they aren’t fully up and running yet. This is the best time to try to catch them! Get under the leaves and foliage. We might add – this is a VERY good way to relieve stress!
5. Call the whitefly’s biggest enemy – the ladybug. Whiteflies are ladybug’s version of filet mignon. They are great for your garden…and good luck to boot!
6. Plant some things near your troubled plant(s) to deter whiteflies. Marigolds, for example, will help you get rid of them. The smell of marigolds to a whitefly is like a human smelling sewage. They will abandon your troubled plant, plus marigolds are very easy to grow!
You could just buy environmentally-unfriendly pesticide to kill them, however the guilt you will feel about ruining the environment might keep you up at night. Besides, these little buggars are so used to being hated many types of whiteflies are resistant to pesticides!
Don’t get mad at the whiteflies…get even!