Whitefly: prevent and combat its pest in the organic garden

The whitefly is one of the insects that we will find in orchards and gardens and that are easily distinguished. The whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum , is small, measuring between 1 and 3 mm long. It is included within the family of the Aleyrodidae , distinguishing more than 1,000 different species of whitefly.

The whitefly is very easy to move around the garden. It can cause serious damage to our crops, since, in addition to sucking the sap from plants, weakening them and causing the appearance of chlorosis , it also spreads diseases (fungi and bacteria). The loss of sap causes a decrease in the development of the plant, few fruits, it can even cause them and the leaves to dry and fall. As if that were not enough, the whitefly, like the aphid , secretes a honeydew that attracts ants and in which the bold one thrives.

The whitefly can attack crops of tomatoes , tobacco, squash , aubergines, zucchini , cotton, beans , melon , cucumber , watermelon and pepper.

One of the signs that plants show that will warn us of the presence of whitefly is that the leaves have little green dots that are lighter than the tone of the leaf itself. Its preference is young shoots and leaves.

The whitefly lives between 15 and 30 days and is very easy to reproduce, since its reproduction cycle is short, giving several generations in a single season.

Prevent whitefly infestation

They love a warm and temperate climate (between 17 and 36 ºC). They appear in hot times of the year, that is, during spring and summer, which is when they are most active and when our orchards and gardens are most in danger of succumbing to their attacks.

Look closely and periodically check that the underside of the leaves is free of flies and their eggs (the latter usually have a yellowish-green tone). The white powder that they leave on the underside of the leaf is also very characteristic, even forming fine threads.

Avoiding excess nitrogen is essential to prevent whitefly proliferation.

Implement crop rotations and associations

Promote biodiversity and polyculture in the garden. Thus there will be natural predators and pests do not appear because populations regulate themselves

Horsetail to prevent whitefly infestation : chop 300 g of fresh horsetail, if you use the dried plant, 150 g will be enough. Cut it into small pieces and put it in a container. Cover well with water, cover and let it rest for 12 to 15 hours. After this time we have to boil it for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and when it has cooled strain.

To use horsetail you only have to dilute one part of horsetail for 4 of water. Spray in the late afternoon all over the plant with special emphasis on the underside of the leaves. As a prevention it can be used every 6 days and if it is to treat an area already with a plague repeat every two or three days.

Store in the fridge or refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

WHITE FLY PEST REMEDY Reflective to prevent whitefly infestation : you can use any material that is reflective such as CDs, silver foil, etc. This serves to ward off the whitefly.

Neem (or neem) to prevent whitefly infestation : an oil is extracted from the Neem tree that has insecticidal and fungicidal action, being very useful to combat white mocha, aphids, mealybugs, weevils, spider mites, etc.

Water and neutral soap to control the whitefly infestation : in 1.5 liters of water add a tablespoon of neutral soap and spray your plants. Do it in the late afternoon once a week.

Calendula and Basil to repel whitefly : marigold or marigold and basil are plants that repel whitefly. Plant it in strategic areas of your orchard or garden.

Ecological methods to eliminate the whitefly infestation

Spray with the horsetail following the directions provided above.

Chromatic traps for whitefly infestation : these are traps that have a very attractive yellow color. You can find them in the market or you can also make them yourself at home from a container that you have of this color. You sprinkle some oil on the surface and the fly, which is attracted to the yellow color, approaches and sticks to the oil. It is recommended to use in specific cases and for short periods of time. .

Tansy for whitefly plague : this plant helps us control the populations of whiteflies, caterpillars, worms, aphids, mealybugs or ants. The horsetail is prepared as indicated before and 1 part of tansy is diluted with 8 of water. The whole plant is well sprayed late in the day and repeated after 6 days.

Potassium soap : It fights several different types of pests and can be a solution to an insistent whitefly infestation. If you spray with Neem several hours after applying the potash soap, the result will be greatly improved.

Wormwood : it is a plant that we cannot stop growing in the vegetable garden or in the garden. Very useful to repel pests and to combat them. With 300 g of wormwood per liter of water and boil for 5 minutes. It must be covered at all times. Remove from the heat and let it rest for 24 hours. Strain and spray the plants twice a day. No need to dilute.

To see more articles and manuals on how to avoid and fight pests in an ecological way take a look here

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