|Signs of Whitefly|
Whiteflies can be really hard to get rid of once you get them, especially if you live in warmer climates! Personally, I do not like to use any kind of chemicals in my garden, so finding natural solutions to common pest problems like the whitefly is really important to me.
How to repel and control whiteflies – Naturally
Here are some of the solutions I’ve been using and finding effective to keep whiteflies mostly under control.
- Spray leaves with water to remove any whiteflies currently on the plant, then spray the top and bottom of all the leaves with a natural insecticidal soap. Commercial or homemade.
- Pick off any leaves that have the swirling signs of whitefly larvae. Crush and mash them up before discarding. If you put the infected leaves straight into the compost bin as they are, they will hatch and cause a bigger problem! (Guess how I know that!)
*If you choose to put infected leaves in the compost bin as they are, break them down with a shovel, then cover them completely with compost dirt and don’t disturb them for a few days!
Once the infected leaves have been removed, spray both sides of the plant’s leaves with a homemade solution of insecticidal soap and neem oil. There are natural commercial brands available as well, but I find having the ability to make my own much more convenient and cost effective.
For my homemade solution, I put 1 tsp of neem oil into a spray bottle, add warm water, then 1T of a liquid dish soap with lemon, and shake well before spraying the leaves.
Plant flowers and herbs that repel or deter whitefly.
Another solution that I’ve been trying, and have found successful, is to plant flowers and herbs around the garden that deter or repel whitefly. Here are some of the flowers and herbs that keep whitefly away:
Flowers: Artemisias, Marigolds (French & Mexican), Nasturtiums
Herbs: Basil, Peppermint, Thyme
Here are a couple of sites with some other strategies for repelling and controlling whiteflies:
Choosing to garden by using a chemical free approach is time consuming, but totally worth it in my opinion.