The Q&A Archives: Whitefly Controls

Question: I am having a terrible problem with the so-called Mexican white fly. Although they are supposed to like only fuzzy leaves, they are on almost everything I have, cannas,
sweet-potato vine, begonias, etc. I do not like using chemical pestacides, but I am really discouraged. Any help would be appreciated!

Answer: Whiteflies are really difficult to eradicate. You can use insecticidal soap against them (they're soft-bodied insects and the fatty acids in the soap will penetrate their bodies), or you can make yellow sticky traps. Use brightly colored yellow paper or cardboard, smear it with petroleum jelly or 'Tanglefoot', and mount at the foliage level of your plants. The whiteflies will be attracted by the yellow color and will become stuck on the surface of the trap. Replace as necessary. Sometimes whiteflies are a problem with indoor plants; they can be vacuumed up indoors, but it might not be very effective outdoors! Good luck!

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