White flies on vegetable leaves - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, Il
Avatar for fannycatz
Question by fannycatz
July 16, 2010
Each year I end up with white flies on my cucumber and tomato leaves which eventually affect the plants. Will spraying a mixture of onion & garlic (that's been sealed in water for a week) be an organic help -or- are there better organic methods?

Answer from NGA
July 16, 2010
I'm not sure your homemade spray will deter the whiteflies but I don't think it will hurt your plants so it might be worth a try. Whiteflies are really difficult to control. Insecticidal soaps will kill them on contact but because they fly away when disturbed, it's hard to get them all without repeat sprays. The problem with insecticidal soap is that it contains fatty acids which can coat the leaves and cause tender leaves to burn in the hot sunshine. I use a combination of early morning or late evening insecticidal soap sprays and then wash the spray off after about 10 minutes. I spray in early morning or late evening when most of the pests are resting on the leaves, and there's no hot sunshine hitting the leaves. Rinsing it off a few minutes after spraying but before it has a chance to dry on the leaves also helps prevent the residue from remaining on the leaves and causing sunscald. I hope this technique works for you, too.

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