The Q&A Archives: White flies

Question: Last fall we were almost infested w/white flies. We used Merit as the fall treatment. Now in raking leaves away from the plants, I believe I see them starting to fly. What do I do?

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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