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JC's Garden
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Re: war against the white fly

I'll have to follow your white fly adventures. I've made a serious effort at companion gardening this year. They have not hit me yet but I just don't know how well this will work. Most years I see clouds of these guys flying around, even in parking lots. All I know is we need more of whatever eats them and whatever plants they don't like to be around.

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PunkRotten
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Re: war against the white fly

I used a small hand vacuum and vacuumed them up when some were on a chile plant of mine. It worked out.

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Re: war against the white fly

PunkRotten wrote:I used a small hand vacuum and vacuumed them up when some were on a chile plant of mine. It worked out.
One or two times doesn't cut it, it depends on the zone really, for me I have concluded that my zone is heavily infested, so since yesterday I keep charging my cordless vacuum. Reflective mulch helps, I believe because it reflects the light and the white flies hide under the leaves to get shade.

I checked on my sole eggplant praying mantis and found out that it got bigger in size, however, I haven't seen it eat any of the white flies, I hope at least its eating the larvae.

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Re: war against the white fly

@imafan26,

Just for the noting, I have found WF on my Onions greens, on my garlic greens and the basil was the most plant swarming with WF ... so garlic, onion, pepper, basil even parsley spray doesn't affect the white fly it is all bogus.

Gonna try and buy some powder cinnamon or oregano pack from the mall and do a cinnamon/oregano spray with citrus and see if it can camouflage the smell of the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.

Just a question, does Epsom salt contains sulfur that can treat russet spider mites ?
Do I have to buy separate sulfur to control the mites ?
If so how much do I have to dilute ?! foliar or drench feeding ?!
Does it affect the white flies ?!

Rairdog
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Re: war against the white fly

I had a hatch of them in my strawberries a week ago. I went out and soaked them with neem oil in between rains a couple times and they haven't come back so far.

imafan26
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Re: war against the white fly

White flies have a two year predator prey cycle. This is the second year of their cycle here. They were very bad last year and while they are still around this year and have pretty much peak numbers now, it is still better than last year.

They are extremely pesticide resistant. A product of how to build a better bug.

They are ultimately controlled by their predators. The best one here is an imported purple lady bug. Believe me everyone laughed when the state Ag dept decided to release a total of 9 ladybugs to control millions of white flies. There were even jokes about the fat lady bugs, but they multiplied and naturalized and they work. They aren't as nice as the nine spotted ladybugs though, these guys bite.

https://www.biconet.com/biocontrol/delphastus.html

The white fly population rises more lady bugs are born to eat the white flies. When the population of ladybugs starts to exceed the supply of white fly food, the lady bug population declines and the white fly slowly recovers and the cycle begins a gain.

That is why, I choose to use water and cut back the common hosts rather than spray. I grow corn, because I like to eat corn but also because corn is the best attractor I know of for the purple ladybugs at least in my yard. The state does not allow the import of predators here, not even beneficial nematodes. Besides, ladybugs follow the food. Even if you buy them, they will only hang around if they have water, habitat and food.

I limit spraying so as not to kill beneficial insects and especially the predatory mites and parasitic wasps, and hover flies.
I will have to use bait for slugs and snails because I don't have a toad, not that I really want one. I do have to fungicide but I try to select cultivars with disease resistance whenever possible.

It is probably why I don't have as much of a problem with white flies. I know which plants are the preferred hosts and I check them for the first signs of problems. I cut back the host plants if they can take it and use water on light infestations. I let the predators take care of the rest and I try not to kill them.

https://ucipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7401.html
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Re: war against the white fly

ok praying mantis became huge, 6 inches, slow moving, I don't know what's eating but definitely not WF, in the morning I saw the very same leaf it was hanging to swarming with WF, so far, I have been vacuuming and the next morning I see more of them, I am assisting my eggplants everyday thx to its flat leaves, tomatoes not so much, leaves are curled downwards and brittle (russet mites maybe ) but thx to that the WF are finding a good hideout, when trying to vacuum the leaves break
Also peppers though having a flat leaf but present some difficulties due to smaller leaves.

I haven't improvised any new tactics yet and the vegetable oil burned some of the leaves.

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Re: war against the white fly

relation between the WF and leaf miners ?

Bovina_Beas
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Re: war against the white fly

I've got WF covering my tomato plants, but they're not touching my peppers. I'm starting to see some signs of their habitation on my leaves. I've seen dill mentioned on here, but I have some within 10 feet of my tomato plants and it doesn't seem to help. Being that it's reached summer here in Mississippi, it's going to be hard for me to spray anything other than water on the leaves. It sure would be nice if there was an easier solution other than using a vacuum :D

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applestar
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Re: war against the white fly

If you are not spraying, then take advantage and try to encourage beneficial insects to join the Garden Patrol.

No relationship between WF and LM except that when a plant is weakened it sends out a signal that pest insects respond to and they flock to dine on the weak.

If you are not worried about trapping the your own troops in the Garden Patrol, then sticky traps could help.
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Re: war against the white fly

@Applestar, thanks for replying, it is strange though, I thought LM are the result of WF.
Where does leaf miners come from then?!

@Bovina_Beas, How are your tomatoes doing ?! are they bearing any fruits ?! The past 2 days the temperature reached above 90 so I noticed an upraise in the number of WF on my eggplants and tomatoes, even though the previous day I had cleaned them with the vacuum until the last one.

I sprayed concentrated Epsom Salts on the leaves of my peppers, tomatoes and eggplants for sulfur and still it has no effect of the WF ... it is tedious to do it on tomatoes and peppers without breaking their delicate leaves, on eggplants it is an easy job to vacuum.

These WF are a true challenge and they are the real reason why plants take longer to reach maturity and bear fruits, I very doubt the temperature for bloom drop, I think it is the WF.

Reflective mulch for containers is limited solution, once the plant shoot exceeds the space of the container, it becomes useless, WF will visit again.
Also when in the morning, the WF number is low, when the sun hits the plants and the higher the heat, the number increases. One behavior I noticed, is that if you a light under the leaves they will flee.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: war against the white fly

There are a whole bunch of different leafminers, citrus leafminers, holly leafminers, vegetable leafminers, etc. So they can be larvae of different adults, but I think most often flies (not whiteflies).

Adults (1/10 inch long) are often black to gray flies with yellow stripes and clear wings. They are similar in appearance to small, hunched-back house flies

Image
https://www.planetnatural.com/wp-content ... -crop1.jpg

Here's the life cycle of the whitefly. The nymphs of the whitefly are outside the leaf and look more like scale insects:

Image
https://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfa ... ef456c.jpg
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Bovina_Beas
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Re: war against the white fly

@Pathfinder, I have 2 tomato plants that are being effected by this (Arkansas Traveler 76), but my other varieties aren't showing signs of being attacked. The other varieties aren't in the same bed though. In this bed I have the 2 tomatoes, 6 bell peppers, marigolds, and some basil. One of the plants only has a small number of bugs and is currently holding 6 tomatoes. The other plant had 2 small tomatoes show up, but they disappeared and the top was infested with WF. I made the decision yesterday to literally cut my losses and I chopped the top out of the plant. I must have carried off thousands of those bugs and led them to a painful death. :twisted:

I just found this link in the https://www.almanac.com/content/whitefliesfarmer's almanac. Has anyone tried this recipe:
In a 32-ounce spray bottle mix 2 parts rubbing alcohol, 5 parts water, and 1 tablespoon liquid soap. Spray the mixture on the foliage of garden plants that are susceptible to these pests.

Some of the other ideas I've seen reading around the web are:
- Earthworm castings
- A yellow cup with motor oil
- Russian KWAS

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Re: war against the white fly

I prefer to use edible kind of grease (like Crisco) rather than motor oil around edibles. Petroleum jelly is often recommended but I have something called UNpetroleum jelly so I use that.

But note that they melt -- become liquid -- too easily in the heat.

Some people have mentioned using double sided tape or sticky side out tape. I tried with duct tape but the adhesive wasn't strong enough -- at least for fungus gnats... But it could have been the brand. If you have different kinds of wide tape, you might try experimenting.
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Re: war against the white fly


Instant evolution in whiteflies: Just add bacteria
Date:
April 8, 2011
Source:
University of Arizona
Summary:
In a case of rapid evolution, bacteria have been found to give whiteflies -- crop-damaging insects of global importance -- an edge over their uninfected peers, new research suggests. In just 6 years, bacteria of the genus Rickettsia spread through a population of the sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), an invasive pest of global importance. Infected insects lay more eggs, develop faster and are more likely to survive to adulthood compared to their uninfected peers.

Whiteflies come in many different species and variants within species called biotypes. Of those, none are considered as detrimental to agriculture as the "B Biotype" of the sweet potato whitefly, which originated in the Mediterranean.
OMG I have the worst kind, what is annoying is that there are many species and whenever I put the name on google, I get the same pictures, well those in the pics do look like the ones on my plants, yellow body white wings, they say the most dangerous are the silverleaf, there are greenhouse in my area, but could the silverleaf attack non-greenhouse plants like mine ?

There are some species that they say it is not detrimental


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JC's Garden
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Re: war against the white fly

Good read.
I'm trying companion gardening for about 10 months now.
No WFs yet and less than a dozen BMSBs.
Don't know if it's just luck or if it works. I'll keep it up though.

imafan26
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Re: war against the white fly

I did find some white flies on my hibiscus again. and a few on the eggplant. None on the citrus or peppers. Since it was a light infestation and I have already cut back the hibiscus twice this year. I sprayed the top and undersides of the usual guys, the hibiscus, zucchini, cucumber, eggplant, peppers, tomato and roses.

I checked again today. The eggplant is currently clean. The hibiscus is cleaner but still had some visible white flies on them, so I hit it again with neem. It is not in bloom now, so it should not bother the bees. I'll check again and remove more of the heavily infested leaves. If that doesn't do the trick then the hibiscus will have to get the chop again. I jetted the undersides of the peppers and eggplant with water for insurance.

My corn is only 4 inches high right now, so it is too small to attract the ladybugs, but the other predators will still be on patrol.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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applestar
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Re: war against the white fly

That was an interesting article. I'm picturing taking kitchen scraps -- carrot and potato peelings, radish and celery tops, maybe onion and garlic bottoms, pepper cores, etc. Maybe fruit scraps, too... orange skin, ... Herbs and spices..... and just making a slurry in the blender with water. Strain and dilute some more, and put that in a sprayer.a

I think as a trial, I would disturb them, get them flying off the plant first, then thoroughly spray tops and bottoms of the foliage. Try on one plant at first.

If you make the kitchen scrap slurry ad-hoc, the combination would be different each time and contribute to the disorienting small factor.

Are you going to experiment with this idea? Keep us posted. 8)
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Re: war against the white fly

JC's Garden wrote:
Good read.
I'm trying companion gardening for about 10 months now.
No WFs yet and less than a dozen BMSBs.
Don't know if it's just luck or if it works. I'll keep it up though.
kindly list the companion plants you have and the distance between them and the WF victim plants

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Re: war against the white fly

applestar keep us posted too if you decide to try it, but I think the mix should exclude nightshades since they're WF victims, logic isn't it.

So far I had done a citrus and a jasmine flower mix and sprayed in the morning, it confused them for a while but when the plants dried out they returned. so it wasn't effective, gonna try new mixes.

But according to the article, they might land on the leaf but don't start saping, I don't know, but conna soap water them this afternoon cause it is hot today and I saw hundereds of eggs under the eggplant leaves.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: war against the white fly

I am convinced some pieces of companion planting work (though there may also be some myths floating around). What I have the strongest evidence for is the value of planting the kind of nectar bearing flowers that have nectar in tiny florets, to attract a variety of beneficial insects including the braconid wasps. I never see a tomato hornworm in my garden that hasn't already been parasitized by them.

Part of how some of the companion planting stuff works is by disguising the smell of your crop, to make it harder for the insects to find. I think this is not so much in a temporary disorientation way, but in an on-going way. That's why a number of the common companion plants are strong smelling like garlic, onions, aromatic herbs:

They may also mask or hide the crop plants from insect pests, create habitat for the development of large beneficial insect populations and produce odors that are repellent to insect pest. Scented plants that are often mentioned as potential companion plants include scented marigold, mint, basil, rosemay, rue, garlic, artemsia and lavender. It is speculated that insects find target plants through plant shape, color and odor. Therefore plants with repellent or confusing odors might make it more difficult for insects to find their preferred vegetable crops. https://byf.unl.edu/OrganicPestControl

RE the silverleaf whitefly, yes they can attack non-greenhouse plants and they are particularly known as a vector for various plant diseases. The oleander leaf-scorch, that is a virulent and uncurable disease that is wiping out the California oleanders, is transmitted by the silverleaf whitefly.
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