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.
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.
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?