The Q&A Archives: Aphids On Hibiscus

Question: I have an ongoing problem with aphids on hibiscus trees located in an indoor pool area. I have released ladybugs. Now I have whiteflies. What can I use to control the whiteflies without harming the ladybug adults as well as larvae? Would insecticidalsoap or horticultural oil be safe?

Answer: Since you've imported natural predators, don't use any pesticides or you'll get the good guys, too. You can try yellow sticky traps, but they may attract the ladybugs as well. Try one trap on one plant and see what the population turns out tobe. Take a piece of bright yellow paper, about the size of an index card and put petroleum jelly or Tanglefoot on it. (Anything that's sticky will work.) Suspend the trap at flower level on your plant with a clothespin or paperclip, or even hang it from fishing line. The yellow color will attract the whiteflies and aphids. When they get too close they'll get stuck on the surface of the trap. Just throw it away when it's full of insects.

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