Features of the “white fly”
The whitefly, the most problematic pest in horticulture, infects a wide range of plants. There are several subfamilies of this insect.
What is a whitefly? These parasites are relatives of aphids, but much more dangerous. Like aphids, they suck plant sap and in turn produce a sticky substance known as honeydew.
Honeydew is the same as with aphids. This attracts ants to the plant. The ants will rear the whiteflies and drive any predators away from them. Therefore, it is important to control the ants in your garden.
The pests develop rapidly in warm weather and are often seen in mid or late summer when it is warm and humid. They are active during the day, they have an excellent ability to adapt to different environments.
They are easy to find in hot, poorly ventilated and humid places, such as greenhouses, on a wide variety of plants. Some species can infect cabbage families. Indoors, they feed on houseplants, especially those with soft, smooth leaves.
What does a whitefly look like?
Soft-bodied winged pests destroy plants and carry diseases. The adult is very small, and usually does not exceed two and a half millimeters. They have wings and are able to fly. The wings are white and the body is pale yellow.
Despite the coloration, these insects are similar in shape to midges, even if they are classified with aphids. Large colonies often develop on the underside of leaves.
The soft body, about 1.5-2 millimeters long, is completely covered with a wax coating, which provides them with protection and gives them a creamy white color. These insects are usually visible to the naked eye despite being small in size. You can shake the plant and see a lot of tiny flies flying up.
Additional information! Both adult insects and larvae cause damage to the plant, because both of them suck the juice from the plant.
Whitefly larvae are small caterpillars that nest at the bottom of leaves, feeding on their sap.
Problems caused by the whitefly
They represent a danger that should not be underestimated. The damage caused is comparable to the damage from aphids. The damage caused by these insects:
- lead to drying of the leaves, the plant loses vitality, color and productivity;
- Isolation of sticky honeydew promotes mold growth on plants, inhibits photosynthesis;
- Whiteflies are carriers of viruses, in particular they are a fairly common problem on tomatoes.
Sooty mold on the leaves causes the leaves to turn yellow and can eventually lead to the death of the plant.
With a heavy whitefly infestation, plants quickly become extremely weak and unable to carry out photosynthesis. Growth slows, leaves wither and turn yellow, and eventually fall off the plant.
What is whitefly in seedlings? The whitefly is able to attack seedlings. Feeding on the juice, they weaken the plants, cause their growth to stop and the loss of fruits.
White flies: how to protect plants
It is difficult to destroy the whitefly because they multiply rapidly, and in a short time they become numerous in the crop. Getting them out will take persistence, but it’s doable.
Gardeners can stop them without resorting to pesticides. It is important to act immediately to be able to contain the damage.
What to do if the whitefly has already arrived in the garden or garden? You can try to remove the whitefly flies manually. But this method is not enough. It is effective in removing larvae, but does not help fight winged insects. Having wings, they fly from one plant to anothere.
whitefly fight. To fight adult specimens, you can use traps – adhesive strips.
These pests hate the cold and love high and humid temperatures. Often ventilate the greenhouse, allowing cold air to enter the room.
An effective way to control white flies is to spread insects that can effectively eat them. Natural enemies such as lacewings or parasitic wasps, Encarsia lays its eggs among whitefly eggs.
Pay attention! Ladybugs protect the garden not only from whiteflies, but also from many other dangerous parasites.
How to get rid of the whitefly: organic remedies, chemical insecticides
What is whitefly and how to get rid of it? Whiteflies can penetrate the stems and suck out the life-giving juices. The first sign of infection is a multitude of tiny white flying insects rising from the plant.
Whiteflies are insects that are not easy to deal with. To eradicate them, various methods can be adopted within a few weeks. They are able to resist common pesticides due to the wax layer.
White butterflies easily adapt to different active ingredients, for this reason it is recommended to change the active ingredient from time to time so that the parasites do not get used to them.
To fight, there are various solutions and traps. Among the natural remedies recommended to combat them are neem oil and feverfew. It is also recommended to use garlic or hot pepper macerate, which have a repellant effect against the parasite.
Plants should be thoroughly sprayed with the solution and may need to be reapplied.
Spray the plants in the evening when the temperature drops. Midday heat can cause an adverse plant reaction. Soap and oil sprays can damage plant leaves at high temperatures. In addition, in the evening you can avoid accidental contact of the solution with beneficial insects.
Additional information! Against whiteflies, use dishwashing detergent diluted with water. The mixture is a rather harmless combination.
Killing whitefly with a natural product is not easy, also because they nest at the bottom of the leaves, and they often manage to avoid processing.
The action of chemical insecticides gives the best results. It is recommended to carry out treatment with special means once every seven days for about 30 days.
In the morning and evening, check the reverse side of the leaves for the presence of eggs. When the larvae hatch, they do not move, but immediately begin to suck the juice of the plant. This is why gardeners often miss infestations. If infestations are detected at an early stage, they can be dealt with by washing away with a strong stream of water.
How do whiteflies breed?
They multiply rapidly, and it is for this reason that it is especially tedious and difficult to eradicate them. It is best to breed at an ambient temperature of 27-33 ° C.
Females are capable of laying about 100/150 eggs. After about 12 days, larvae hatch that can attack plants for about a month.