The Q&A Archives: White Flies

Question: I have lots of white flies coming from my compost. How can I get rid of them??

Answer: Insect activity is a sure sign that your compost heap is too cold and too wet. You can control insect populations such as whiteflies by keeping your compost pile turned on a regular basis, moving the warmest material from the center of the pile to the outside, and the outer material to the inside. This is a labor-intensive method of composting, but it's the best way to manage your compost. Frequent turning will help your compost "cook" and maintain the proper internal temperature. The heat generated by well maintained decomposing organic matter will be high enough to repel insects. To evenly distribute that heat, and to hasten decomposition, the material in your pile should be turned at least weekly (twice a week is even better!). Turning the pile will also aid in the evaporation of excess moisture.

It takes a little work to produce compost, but having a compost pile is a terrific way of recycling and will supply your garden with lots and lots of "black gold". It's well worth the effort, I'd say!

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