Control Using Spinosad
Spinosad is a new bacterial organic insecticide that is proving very effective agains whiteflies. For a full description of what it is and how to use it go to the Yardener's Tool Shed; click here
Control With Pyrethrin Insecticide
An effective tool for killing whiteflies is a pyrethrin or pyrethrum based insecticide product. While a very safe product, it will kill any insect it contacts, so use this only on the plants where the whiteflies are a problem. Spray it directly on the insects, on the undersides of the leaves as well as the tops. Usually, 2 applications made 3 to 4 days apart will successfully control the problem. For information go to the Pyrethrum file in Yardener's Tool Shed.
Control With Neem Oil Soap
Control heavy infestations by spraying the whiteflies with neem oil soap . Spray every 2 to 3 days for up to 2 weeks if infestations are severe. The neem soap spray must cover the insects or it will not be effective, so spray underneath any leaves as well as the upper surfaces. The soap works by disrupting cell membranes in the insect’s body. It kills immature stages and adults, but not the eggs. Spray insects in early morning or late afternoon if possible.
For information about this product go to the Neem Oil Soap file in Yardener's Tool Shed.
Control With Light Horticultural Oil
A “superior” grade or light horticultural oil effectively controls whiteflies by killing both the live insects and smothering and killing the eggs. This oil works by thinly coating and clogging the insect’s breathing pores or the eggshell, thereby suffocating it. In addition, it disrupts cell membranes in the insect’s body.
Light horticultural oil may be used in the spring, summer or winter, up to 1 month before harvest. It has very low toxicity to humans, pets, and wildlife. It poses little threat to any natural enemies of your target pests. Prepare a 2% to 3% solution in water and spray both tops and bottom of infested leaves. Heavy infestations may need 2 spray applications about 3 or 4 days apart. Researchers have found that this type of oil has residual action, enabling it to kill whiteflies up to 5 days after you spray. No matter what spray you use, always read and follow the instructions on the label of the bottle or container.
For information about this product go to the Hort Oil section of Yardener's Tool Shed.
Using Synthetic Insecticides
We no longer recommend using any synthetic insecticides on your property. The natural organic insecticides have become just as effective with no environmental side effects.