How to Get Rid of Whitefly?
If you live in Florida and own a property with any type of landscaping, you may be familiar with the small insects known as whiteflies. These pesky little creatures are more common in the southern United States and can affect a wide range of plants.
Want to know more about whiteflies and what you can do in regard to whitefly control? Keep reading to learn more about these insects and how to get rid of them from your home or outdoor garden.
What are Whitefly Insects?
The whitefly is a winged insect with a soft body that is closely related to aphids and mealybugs. Even though they have the word “fly” in their name, whiteflies are not a type of fly. They can be as small as 1/12 of an inch and are usually found in clusters on the undersides of leaves. The good news is that they are active during the daytime and will scatter when disturbed, so they’re easier to identify than some other nocturnal pests.
Whitefly Damage to Plants
Whiteflies like a wide range of plants from warm-weather vegetables to ornamental flowers. Some species may attack plants from the cabbage family, citrus trees, and sweet potatoes among many other fruits and vegetables. If they are inside the home, they will most likely be feeding on your houseplants – especially those with smooth, soft leaves.
Like other aphids, whiteflies use a piercing mouthpart to suck up plant juices and produce a by-product called honeydew. This then causes fungal diseases for plants such as sooty mold. If there is heavy feeding on your plants, the leaves will turn pale or yellow and the growth will be stunted. You could also see ants as they are attracted to the honeydew by-product.
There are many various ways to get rid of whiteflies in your home or garden. Below we’ve listed some of the simplest ways to treat a whitefly infestation:
- Blast your plants with a spray bottle or watering hose. This will cause the flies to scatter and may dislodge some nymphs and eggs.
- You may want to spray your plants’ leaves with insecticidal soap. Don’t forget to spray the undersides of the leaves.
- If your whitefly problem is persistent, you can carefully use a handheld vacuum every couple of days to remove them from your plants. Be sure not to empty the vacuum into the trash however as this could bring the infestation inside your home instead!
If you’ve tried everything we listed above and you still can’t seem to get rid of whiteflies in your home and garden, it’s best to bring in a landscaping and pest control expert to manage the situation. The experienced team at Cutters Edge is familiar with all of Florida’s common landscaping pests and can put together a personalized treatment package for your needs. Contact them today to get the ball rolling!