White Fly (or White Flies) are insect pests that live chiefly on the undersides of plant leaves. They are exceptionally small and are a huge problem in Greenhouses as they can make it by already the smallest of screens. They multiply very rapidly and cause a great deal of damage – in fact, in three different ways.
First of all, they suck out juices from the undersides of leaves. Not good but that is just the beginning. They then secrete what is known as ‘Honeydew” which is a high sugary liquid that is basically pooped out of the White Fly as they suck on the plants. It is not just any old poop – the sugar-high Honeydew grows an unsightly black mold. It is ugly and the mold blocks the sunlight from reaching the leaves – so the plant cannot perform photosynthesis, the very necessary course of action of gathering energy from the sun.
And there is more…
They inject their saliva into plants which is the biggest problem as their saliva carries a wide variety of plant diseases. So, White Fly suck, poop and spread diseases wherever they go.
How to control these suckers? You will need an all-natural pest control solution. Using traditional, synthetic pesticides are not going to cut it as they may not be effective and/or they may cause more damage to the plants that are already distressed.
It is best to use a pump sprayer for best results. Begin Day 1 by spraying the top of the plant like it is raining. This helps create a obstacle these suckers will not cross as they typically fly straight upwards when you come after them. After saturating the top of the plant, start at the bottom spraying the underneath sides of the leaves as best as you can. Move in circles around the plant so as not to miss any area as you course of action upwards towards the top.
Do the exact same thing the very next day. And the next. By the third day, you should not see hardly any evidence of White Fly as you treat the plant.
If you ever have reason to speculate White Fly, get on it as soon as possible. The damage they cause can be rapid AND if can take a while to present itself when it is sometimes too late (those pesky plant diseases take a while to present… ). Continue as needed to wipe out these plant suckers once and for all!