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White Flies

Whitefly Control & Treatment

It can be very frustrating when your plants begin to wilt, yellow, or die and you can’t seem to see the source. Some garden and greenhouse pests are so tiny that they can be really hard to identify. Mites, aphids, and scales can cause lots of damage, and whiteflies are no different. Whiteflies, like aphids and mites, suck the sap out of leaves and in large numbers can be very difficult to control. Being able to identify these insects and the signs of their damage can save your plants and help you in your whitefly control measures.

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Talstar P (Talstar One)
4.50 out of 5 stars (932)
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Excellent residual insecticide with a broad label: Long residual control over termites and 75 other pests.

Demand CS
4.50 out of 5 stars (194)
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Demand CS is a micro-encapsulated insecticide offering superior insect control.

Onslaught Insecticide
4 out of 5 stars (51)
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Multi-use insecticide with excellent residual control of over 200 insect pests.

Evergreen Pyrethrum Dust 1%
4.50 out of 5 stars (13)
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Compare to Drione Dust! Evergreen is a botanical insecticide dust labeled for a broad range of insects including bed bugs.

Cyonara Lawn, Yard, and Garden Spray
4.50 out of 5 stars (16)
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Professional ready-to-use lawn, garden and yard spray for general insect control.

Tempo Ultra WSP Insecticide
5 out of 5 stars (1)
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Tempo Ultra WSP Insecticide is a wettable powder that targets infesting pests on indoor and outdoor landscapes

Merit 75 WP - 2 oz. jar
5 out of 5 stars (11)
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lawn insecticide to control grubs, weevils, and other soil and turf inhabiting pests.

Orthene 97 Spray Insecticide
4 out of 5 stars (9)
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Orthene 97 Spray is a broad spectrum insect control offering no dust, low odor and accurate measuring

Forbid 4F Ornamental Insecticide Miticide
5 out of 5 stars (6)
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Knockdown and residual control of mites and all stages of whiteflies

Mavrik Perimeter
5 out of 5 stars (2)
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Mavrik Perimeter provides a fast knockdown (kill) of a variety of pests including mosquitoes, ants, spiders, ticks, springtails, cockroaches and fire ants.

Acephate 97UP Insecticide
4 out of 5 stars (4)
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Acephate 97UP is great for use on listed crop, Turf and Ornamentals, in Greenhouses, and in nurseries for control of listed pests. Same active ingredient as Orthene.

Merit 2F Insecticide
5 out of 5 stars (1)
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Merit 2F is for foliar and systemic insect control in turfgrass (including sod farms), landscape ornamentals, fruit and nut trees and interior plantscapes

Monterey Once A Year Insect Control II
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Imidacloprid insecticide used as a soil drench on ornamental trees & shrubs and select fruit & nut trees. Controls leaf hoppers, mealy bugs, scale, whitefly, borers and many additional pests. One application protects plants all season long.

Suterra Medium Yellow Sticky Trap - 10 pack
3 out of 5 stars (2)
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A plastic, water resistant trap that is coated both sides with a powerful dry-touch, no mess, and non-drip insect glue.

Fruit Tree & Vegetable Systemic Soil Drench
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Imidacloprid concentrate to be mixed and applied as a soil drench around listed fruit & nut trees including citrus, apple, peach and plum as well as listed vegetable plants. Apply once for season-long control.

Timectin 0.15 EC / Abamectin
5 out of 5 stars (1)
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Insecticide and Miticide for use on ornamental plants.

Stryker Multi-Use Insecticide
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Stryker Multi-Use Insecticide is a great insecticide that kills many different kinds of insects.

Bayer Advanced Natria Multi-Insect Control for use on Roses, Flowers, Fruits Vegetables
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Kills all stages of insects, including eggs. Controls Powdery Mildew. Protects against Spider Mites. For Organic Gardening.

Tandem Insecticide
4 out of 5 stars (5)
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A microencapsulated insecticide with dual modes of action to control a wide range of pests both indoors and outdoors.

Aphid & Whitefly Spray
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Aerosol spray for indoor and outdoor use.

Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer For Soil & Turf Concentrate
5 out of 5 stars (1)
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Kills the most common lawn pests like ants, fleas, ticks, grubs, and more.

Bonide Garden Dust
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All-natural insect and disease control for edibles; use up to day of harvest


How to Get Rid of Whiteflies

Since whiteflies can be so difficult to control, combining cultural, biological, and chemical methods for the optimal level of whitefly treatment. With in infestation, you will want to know how to kill whiteflies, and using parts of all of these methods will help you to do that.

Cultural Control:

  • If possible, remove infested plants from your garden or greenhouse. You can treat these plants in isolation or get rid of them.
  • If caught early, you can employ a rigorous routine of hand picking the nymphs and eggs, vacuuming live flies and hosing or spraying plants down with water a few times a day.
  • You can vacuum live adults early in the morning with a small handheld vacuum. Freeze vacuum bag overnight to kill insects.
  • Reflective mulch or tinfoil can repel whiteflies
  • Create traps by painting strips of cardboard or wood bright yellow (to attract the flies) and coat with a sticky substance, whether it is petroleum jelly and mineral oil or a commercially available product. Rinse trapped insects off, reapply substance. You can also purchase sticky traps.

Biological Control:

  • Dusty conditions, ants (feeding on the honeydew), and insecticides all interrupt the natural enemies feeding on the whiteflies. Try to control these three things, and this will help keep your whitefly population down before it gets out of control.

Chemical Control:

  • Since many species of whiteflies have developed resistance to some chemicals, it is difficult to know which products will work in your area for whitefly pest control. You can try neem oil or insecticidal soap with some success.
  • When using neem oil or insecticidal soap, only the live adult flies and the spray will directly affect feeding nymphs and will not affect eggs or non-feeding nymphs. Coat leaves with oil completely, and ensure it is not too hot for these products – read all instructions before using any pesticides.

Whitefly Identification and Life Cycle

Whiteflies are tiny, sap-sucking insects frequently found on vegetable plants and ornamental plants. Like aphids, they excrete a sticky “honeydew” substance that attracts ants. Adult whiteflies are very small, 1//10 to 1/16th of an inch long. They look like small, white moths with a powdery wax covering their wings. Females lay 200 to 400 eggs. These insects go through four nymphal stages. The first stage is called the “crawler” stage, as you will see these tiny whiteflies on plants, moving slowly across leaves to feed. In the final stage before adulthood, the nymphs lose their wings and legs and attach themselves to leaves with wax protrusions.

Whitefly Damage

Whiteflies have a wide range of hosts. When whiteflies infest plants in large populations, they can turn leaves yellow and dry and cause leaves to drop off. Some species cause distortion, silvering, and discoloration, and can cause serious losses. The honeydew secretions serve as a growing medium for sooty black mold, which can be damaging. Low levels of these pests don’t cause significant damage, and fruit trees are usually unaffected. Some species in certain areas of the country can transmit plant pathogens. Often times whiteflies become a problem when the natural enemies of whiteflies – lacewings, big eyed bugs, minute pirate buts, some lady beetles and some Asian beetles – get disrupted.

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