Friday, 1 February 2019

Whitefly

Whitefly are small white moth-like flies. If you give your plant a shake (in my case our mint) lots of tiny white flies burst into flight.

They are small pests that feed by piercing and sucking sap from plants, causing the leaves to go yellow and mottled. Eggs are laid on the undersides of leaves and hatch in about 8 days. Both newly hatched 'crawlers' and adults feed by sucking the sap from the underside of the leaf.

Both the adults and nymphs secrete lots of waste called honeydew which in turn attracts ants and can cause sooty mould to develop. 

The female whitefly lays around 200 eggs. When they hatch nymphs move about for a few days but then settle into one position where they remain until eventually turning into winged adults. Companion planting with nasturtiums can often help as will yellow sticky tapes.

As silly as it sounds vacuuming in the early morning and freezing for some hours is one very effective and organic approach to getting rid of whitefly. 

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