The Q&A Archives: white flies on geraniums and bacopa

Question: My sister-in-law has a mature geranium in a flower box on her covered front porch. She has had this plant for several years. Lately it has become infested with white flies. There is also some white bacopa planted with it. She bought some spray at the local nursery. She sprayed it top to bottom and it still has white flies. Any suggestions?

Answer: There are a number of biological controls that you can try to get rid of white flies. Since you're dealing with an outdoor white fly problem, you might want to try releasing lacewings or minute pirate bugs. Other control methods include yellow sticky traps - basically cardboard painted bright yellow and coated with mineral oil or petroleum jelly, and suspended near the tops of plants. Insecticidal soaps work well against white flies, too. Just be sure to spray both top and undersides of leaves. Insecticidal soaps can cause burning of leaves if applied during hot weather, so use caution. Whiteflies are generally settled on plants in the early morning and late evening hours so that's the best time to spray them. Good luck in getting rid of those pesky pests!

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