The Q&A Archives: White Flies On Fuchsia

Question: I am having difficulty suppressing the white fly infestation on my fuchsia. I believe the plant came with the infestation, based on what I noticed at the time of purchase and my recent discovery of warning signs. Silly me. I don't want to return it, just want to heal it. Help!!

Answer: Insecticidal soaps are effective against whiteflies, but you need to saturate both the tops and the undersides of the leaves to get the adults, nymphs and eggs. It often takes multiple sprays to get the population down to a manageable size. There are predacious wasps that feed on whiteflies, so if you use a chemical, you'll kill the beneficial wasps as well. Try hosing your plants off with plain water every day, being thorough and hitting all plant parts with the water. Or, you can make yellow sticky traps that will attract the whiteflies but not harm the beneficial insects. Take bright yellow cardboard or index cards and smear with petroleum jelly. Suspend the traps from stakes placed among the infested plants. The whiteflies will be attracted to the yellow color and will become entrapped on the sticky surface. Replace the traps when they're no longer sticky, or when they're full. You just have to be persistent in your method of control and eventually you'll be the victor!

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