It is one of the most common pests in agricultural crops and also in gardens. This is because it attacks numerous plants, both vegetables and some species of ornamental plants.
The whitefly is an insect that can be harmful pests around your tomatoes, your courgettes, peppers, and watermelons. Here you will learn to detect it in time and control it effectively.
Meet the whitefly
The whitefly is an insect belonging to the family of Aleyrodidae. Although there are more than 1500 species, the most common among orchards and gardens measure between 1 mm and 1.5 mm and are very light white or yellow.
They can feed on more than 500 different plants, which makes it a difficult problem to avoid. Whiteflies are usually placed on the underside of the leaves, so one way to know if we have them is to look at the underside or shake the plant so that the flies fly.
What damage does it cause?
The whitefly is not a simple fly like any other, but it can cause serious damage to our plants, so it must be taken into consideration. These are some of those damages:
- Due to its anatomy, it is very easy for whiteflies to feed on the sap of plants. Sucks inside and keeps nutrients and water from the leaves, which weakens them greatly.
- In addition, whiteflies leave a small gift in the leaves called molasses. This molasses, secreted by this insect, calls the ants to go to the same place. In fact, they consider it a ‘payment’ in exchange for protection. Molasses is also a gateway to fungi and bacterial diseases, which can kill the plant.
How to eliminate whitefly
You are probably wondering why such a harmful insect has appeared on your plant. Well, most likely, there is some care or practice that you are not doing well or that you are skipping.
In fact, the appearance of the whitefly is a kind of marker that warns that something is not going well: it may be too much water or lack thereof, too much fertilizer or too little, and so on.
Therefore, the first thing you should do is discover what happens and correct that habit. Once this is also useful advice to prevent future pests), here are some keys to permanently eliminate whiteflies :
- First, if we do not have many specimens, we can remove the whitefly manually, although this only serves for a small amount, since we must remember that this insect has wings and can easily return.
- The potassium soap, on the other hand, can easily soften the exoskeleton of the whitefly, so get weaken and kill this insect specimen.
- The neem oil, on the other hand, is a potent natural insecticide that can act effectively against numerous pests, including whiteflies also. In case you use this treatment together with the previous one, you will achieve greater efficacy.
- It is very important that you remove the molasses to prevent more ants from coming or having fungal diseases, so you can apply a cleaning product for it.