For the third year in a row my tomatoes and cucumbers are being destroyed by
white flies. I've used Safer soap, Bayer Bug be Gone, and now Bonide Eight
Insect control. This last has helped but not completely rid the plants of
the bugs. It is expensive to use a lot. Does anyone know of anything I
could use next year before the first flies appear to prevent them from doing
Well, we used to use pieces of bright yellow plastic with a little oil
spread on 'em. Seemed to pick 'em up smartly. Was cheap. Long lasting.
Easy to clean/reset. And completely non-toxic
Oh most any kind at all, Dianna (but not petroleum based oils--those would
be toxic). Vegetable oil. Olive oil. Canola oil. Safflower oil.
Sunflower oil. Walnut oil. Sesame oil. Peanut oil. Etc. Whatever you
have sittin' around in your cupboard...the cheaper the better.
The yellow attracts 'em, and the oil nails 'em to the plastic. Then every
couple of weeks we ran 'em through the dishwasher and re-oiled 'em fresh...
Works like a champ.
When I moved into the house I am in now, the white fly population was
out of control. No, really, out of control. There were so many of the
little buggers, that when they massed on my screen door at night, they
cast a shadow. One of my neighbors walked through her yard to her car
with a dust mask on because she was tired of having them get into her
nose and mouth.
I convinced the neighbors on either side of me to stop using
pesticides for a while, and I started buying and releasing lady bugs.
After the first couple of releases, there was a perceptible drop in
the white fly plague. The next spring, I started early, and we had
even fewer white flies that summer. The third summer I didn't have to
release any lady bugs, and we didn't have but a normal white fly
Now I occasionally see a plant with white fly, but it's nothing a bit
of soapy water in a spray bottle can't handle. My success with the
white fly is one reason I've looked so hard for a beneficial that will
help control the <spit!> thrip population.
On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 13:24:54 -0400, Penelope Periwinkle
Okay!, I don't have a big problem with white flies, but I do want to
make a comment about the Lady Bugs. If what I call Lady Bugs, and
what you call Lady Bugs are the same- -Be Aware. For the last 4 or 5
years, in the fall of the year we have an onslaught of these
critters. They are small orange with black dots on them (that are
shaped like and old VW automobile). In the fall, after the first cold
snap, they start looking for a place to winter. Not only do they fly
but they also crawl--and they get into every thing. Not just a few,
but thousands and thousands. You go to your auto, and even with the
window rolled up there will be hundreds inside. All of your outdoor
light fixtures will fill up with them. I live in a rural area (lots
of fields and woods) in town, they are not quite as bad, but there is
plenty to go around. GIVE ME THE WHITE FLY, I can spray them.
Sorry for the negative comment, no offense intended. Rogerx.
White flies can be eliminated by spraying with a dilute solution of
Rubbing Alcohol and liquid detergent. I would use about 1-2 ounces of
Rubbing Alcohol and 5 drops of liquid detergent into one gallon of
water. Spray the entire plant and get beneath the leaves if possible.
You may have to do this 2 or 3 times to disrupt the white fly life
Another method is to liquify some "hot" cayenne peppers in a
blender. Filter this thru cheese cloth. Handle with care and wear
gloves! Add 5 drops of liquid detergent and dilute with water to one
The liquid detergent helps the liquid adhere to the leaves and coats
the white flies.
You can also use natural Castille soap, instead of liquid detergent
but you should thoroughly dissolve it in warm water first so that it
does not clog your sprayer.
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