How To Treat Whitefly Infestation Of Indoor Plants

Question From: J. Ferrari - TEXAS
Q: I noticed white flies in years past (didn't know what they were) but wasn't a big problem. This year however, they've totally infested a hanging basket of petunias and now my seedling turks cap, daisy leaves, geraniums and poinsettia are infested. The petunias, daisy, and geraniums can do into the trash since its almost October. But my poinsettia has spent the last month bushing out and I'm ready to start fertilizing for production of red leaves for the holidays. Can I coat leaves to the point of saturation with Pyrethrin and still expect red leaf production?

A: You've got a real problem. White fly is difficult to control indoors when the colony is well established in the plant. Begin by hosing off the plant with a stiff stream of water focusing in the undersides of the leaves where the insects feed and lay their eggs. Allow the leaves to dry and then spray with a pesticide to the point of runoff. Spray to the point of runoff. Repeat every 3 to 5 days until no more flies appear. Best to spray early in the morning or at sundown to prevent leaf burn. Read and follow the directions carefully/ Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy