Q:

How do you get rid of whiteflies on tomato plants?

A:

Whiteflies on tomato plants can be contained and removed through careful inspection, good cultural practices, organic methods and chemical pesticides. Whiteflies are small insects with wings that can be found on the underside of leaves. They can damage plants by feeding on their sap, reproducing and leaving honeydew, which weakens the leaves, making them dry and stunting their growth.

Whiteflies tend to be present in clusters and can produce up to 400 eggs. To get rid of whiteflies on tomato plants, the following methods can be used.

  • Organic methods - introduction of creatures, such as spiders, hoverfly, ladybirds and lacewing larvae can help eliminate whiteflies. These creatures feed on whiteflies, which aids in controlling their population. Use of wasps, such as Encarsia formosa and Eretmoceruus can help parasitize whiteflies. In addition fleeces and nettings can be used to cover greenhouse vents to prevent their spread
  • Pesticides and insecticides - use of chemical pesticides can assist in the termination of whiteflies. Chemical formulas containing surfactant, pyrethrum and natural fatty acids can be used as treatments. Insecticidal soap can also be sprayed two to three times. In addition, a homemade mixture of one tablespoon of liquid soap, five parts water and two parts rubbing alcohol can be sprayed on plant foliage
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