While you have to exercise caution while doing this, a small handheld vacuum can be a very easy way to get rid of larvae, eggs, and the tiny white bugs themselves. The USDA recommends "an integrated program that focuses on prevention and relies on cultural and biological control methods when possible." Control measures can be justified if large numbers of whiteflies are present during the early stages of the crop. Whiteflies are members of the family Aleyrodidae. The spread of this virus in the state is a major threat to tomato production. Fouche, UC Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County, identification of sweetpotato whiteflies and greenhouse whiteflies, IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). Vacuuming One way to remove whiteflies from your plants is to use a small, hand-held vacuum cleaner. Set out yellow whitefly sticky traps around the base of plants to control the adult population and minimize breeding. Spray the plant thoroughly, drenching the tops and bottoms all the leaves, twice in one week. For tank mixes, observe all directions for use on all labels, and employ the most restrictive limits and precautions. Greenhouse whiteflies are found in all but the lower desert growing areas. Do not apply to vegetables grown for seed. Summers (emeritus), Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Parlier, C.F. Whitefly adults are tiny (0.06 inch, 1.5 mm long), yellowish insects with white wings. The larva pupates and emerges as an adult wasp ready to mate and lay eggs in more whitefly nymphs. This approach will reduce treatment costs and help preserve beneficials in the field. Maintain good sanitation in areas of winter and spring host crops and weeds by destroying and removing all crop residues as soon as possible. Step 1 Inspect the underside of tomato leaves for whiteflies or their nymphs, which resemble small white pods, before purchasing transplants. Whitefly also spread the virus disease in crops. Effective against immature whiteflies only. Unfortunately, washing is labor intensive and only practical for … Researchers of the Sindh Agriculture University have completed a paper on the use of chrysoperla carnea larvae to control whitefly on tomato plants in greenhouses. Organic sprays, such as natural pyrethrum (e.g. However, once the whiteflies are controlled, the new fruit should ripen normally. Some pesticides are available for whitefly control, but they also kill beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, that feed upon whiteflies. The oil should be applied directly onto the insects as it works by suffocating them. A good home remedy for whiteflies on plants is a homemade garlic spray. Weed the tomato bed and neighboring areas weekly so dead plant material doesn't collect. Yellow sticky traps may be useful in detecting initial whitefly migrations into fields. Good organic whitefly controls include reflective mulches, sticky traps, and vacuuming them from plants. Both species of whitefly cause damage to leaves by feeding, which causes leaves to yellow and curl, and by the production of honeydew, which causes leaves to appear shiny or blackened (from sooty mold growing on the honeydew). Shoot down the tomato plant with a strong blast of water. A half-and-half mixture of petroleum jelly and dish soap, spread over small boards painted bright yellow, is sticky enough to catch little whiteflies, too. The wasp larva develops inside the nymph, eventually killing it. Sweetpotato whiteflies hold their wings somewhat vertically tilted, or rooflike, over the body; the wings do not meet over the back but have a small space separating them. In recent years, the greenhouse whitefly has been found to be the vector of tomato infectious chlorosis virus, a virus capable of causing heavy losses in the production of fresh-market and greenhouse tomatoes. A perennial plague in home gardens, whiteflies like to cluster on the underside of leaves to pierce and sap the juices out of your plants. Whitefly control is difficult and complex, as whiteflies rapidly gain resistance to chemical pesticides. A spray free solution, you can pick this up from your local Bunnings but … Use only virus-free tomato transplants grown and shipped from the Imperial Valley, which are monitored by CDFA and the county agricultural commissioner's office. Whiteflies can move and disperse over long distances by flying upward and being picked up and carried by air currents. Release lady bugs or lacewing larvae, purchased from a nursery or seed supplier, into the garden to feed on the whiteflies. For example, the relatively newly introduced curly stunt virus, found in tomatoes in our warmer areas, is transmitted by whiteflies. Whiteflies are small, flying insects that feed on the leaves of garden plants. Use a hand lens to examine both immatures and adults. In the morning and evening when you roam in the garden, observe your plant, their eggs are the leaves. During these critical periods, check fields twice weekly. COMMENTS: Thorough coverage, including lower sides of leaves, is essential for good control. However, where virus transmission is involved, as is the case of the tobacco whitefly on tomatoes, sweet potato or cassava, even small numbers of whiteflies may need to be controlled. Researchers of the Sindh Agriculture University have completed a paper on the use of chrysoperla carnea larvae to control whitefly on tomato plants in greenhouses. Spray infested tomato plants with insecticidal soap, concentrating the spray on the underside of the leaves where whiteflies congregate and breed. Extensive feeding can leave a tomato plant susceptible to sooty mold and viruses spread by the pests. Additional treatments may be necessary. Be especially alert for the rapid migration of whiteflies when nearby host crops are in decline. 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