Predacious Insects - Knowledgebase Question

Winnetka, CA
Question by mary_mitchel
October 11, 2002
What are the natural predators to aphids and more so to white flies that can live in the San Fernando Valley.


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Answer from NGA
October 11, 2002

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Both apids and whiteflies can be real pests in the garden. Insecticidal soaps are effective, but you need to saturate both the tops and the undersides of the leaves to get the adults, nymphs and eggs. It often takes multiple sprays to get the population down to a manageable size. There are predacious wasps that feed on whiteflies, so if you use a chemical, you'll kill the beneficial wasps as well. Try hosing your plants off with plain water every few days, being thorough and hitting all plant parts with the water. Or, you can make yellow sticky traps that will attract the whiteflies but not harm the beneficial insects. Take bright yellow cardboard or index cards and smear with petroleum jelly. Suspend the traps from stakes placed among the infested plants. The aphids and whiteflies will be attracted to the yellow color and will become entrapped on the sticky surface. Replace the traps when they're no longer sticky, or when they're full. You just have to be persistent in your method of control and eventually you'll be the victor!

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