controlling whitefly

How to get rid of whiteflies on tomato plants

If you’ve noticed an epidemic of tiny white flying things on your tomato plants then it’s likely you’ve got an infestation of whitefly.

Whilst Whitefly may be a lessor concern than many other bugs out there, they can cause some damage in your vegetable patch, including spreading nasty diseases around. Whilst you may not see the affects of an epidemic right away, they are a sap sucking insect and can make your tomato plants to become weak and more susceptible to disease. Of all the vegetables in your garden, most commonly you’ll find your whitefly hovering around your tomato plants.

Whitefly epidemic on tomato plants
Whitefly epidemic on our tomato plant

Here are some ways you can get rid of your whitefly infestation:

Yellow Sticky fly paper

A spray free solution, you can pick this up from your local Bunnings but basically it’s a yellow sheet of sticky paper and the little flies stick to it. We’ve used this in the past with moderate success. However, we stopped using them when we caught a gecko and a few of our native bush bees stuck to the paper.

Organic Neem Oil

Used in organic farming, Neem oil is a natural oil from a seeds of a Neem tree which has a natural occurring pesticide. A great one for the organic gardeners tool belt. You won’t want to use this on any aquaponics systems as it can be moderately toxic to fish, but is generally safe for use around birds, mammals, bees and of course plants. Once sprayed on the plants it will only affect insects that eat the plant, so your native bees should be safe.

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Lacewing Insects

I am yet to try this, but you can also purchase Lacewings to introduce to your garden. They are great bugs to have in your garden as they are not only predators to whitefly, but also a whole swing of other pests including aphids.

DIY White Fly Spray

What we predominantly use is a DIY spray using what we have lying around, it’s basically a DIY white oil. Whilst it won’t get rid of the full lifecycle of the whitefly it will keep them under control. Using a small spray bottle we fill it with water and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil, a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, give it a good shake and spray on the flies. They basically can no longer fly so die. Don’t spray it on a hot day or you may deep fry your plants.

Do you have any home remedies for pests in your garden?

How to get rid of whiteflies on tomato plants

6 thoughts on “How to get rid of whiteflies on tomato plants”

  1. Filled my greenhouse with 2 or 3 types of marigold but they could not control whitefly brought in on purchased tomato plants.

  2. Wendy Raymond.

    Hello. I’ve had mexican whiteflies on two large hibiscus plants. I used Neem oil and finally killed most of them. Pay attention to quantity of Neem to water ratio. I used too much Neem the first time, hibiscus developed a dark fungus. It all turned out ok after I started spraying water over and under the leaves.
    My current pests are the tiny whiteflies attacking my yearly tomato plants. I’ll certainly use the kill them w a DIY spray recommended on this website.
    Thank you so much for your advice!
    Wendy Raymond
    Southern CA, USA

    1. Neem isn’t approved of use on food plants here in Australia (although it’s mostly due to animal testing I believe). We also can’t use it on Aquaponics as it’s poisonous to the fish so we don’t use it.

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