Sweet Potato Whiteflies or Silverleaf Whitefly can attack in the warmth of midsummer. But do not be fooled by the season because they can definitely dominate your warm greenhouse at any time. The good news is you can defeat them without applying pesky chemicals. Let’s take a look at these organic ways of beating these Sweet Potato Whiteflies and keep your greenhouse safe.
Most types of whiteflies feed on ornamental plants. One or two are liable to generate dilemmas in some greenhouses. They can potentially create damages on eggplant, okra, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and peppers planted in warm environments. Whiteflies can also hurt your cucumbers and cabbage type vegetables.
Faded, drying leaves are a clue that whiteflies are already absorbing juices from the underside of the leaves. If they have been feasting for many days, the leaves may show a sticky matter or the whitefly honeydew. Ants can be there as well as the honeydew end user.
How to eliminate sweet potato whitefly using organic methods
It was just believed to be an occasional pest of planted crops before 1986 but in Florida, the Bemisia tabaci species created intense market trouble. It was discovered attacking crops that it had not infected before and became immune to several formerly efficient pesticides. It also transmitted brand-new plant-pathogenic viruses that had never attacked cultivated vegetables and caused plant physiological developments. Using organic pest control methods to kill sweet potato whiteflies is way safer than chemical action especially in a greenhouse setting.
Use the combination of jet water and insecticidal soap
Blasting the leaves with a jet of water is effective in reducing the severity of infestation. Combining hosing with the spraying of the leaves with insecticidal soap can help eradicate the insects.
It is now time to use an organic insecticidal detergent if they are still lingering after the dash of water. Pay great attention to reach all sections of a leaf. Sprinkle at a cooler period of the day and catch up with one or two added showers after a few days.
Do not apply chemical pesticides in an attempt to remove whiteflies. Several strains are becoming pesticide-resistant, but their prey does not. You may unintentionally kill several helpful insects, and the whiteflies will simply bounce right after.
Examine your seedlings before transplanting
The vast majority of sweet potato whitefly infestations arise from seedlings imported from nurseries. Therefore, ensure you inspect all planting material before allowing them into the greenhouse. You should bag all infected planting securely before putting them in the garbage dump.
In a serious outbreak, a small handy vacuum can be very efficient at sucking up spots of whiteflies from agitated leaves. Repeat again for more days to bring this nasty invasion under control.
You can purchase sticky traps, or create your own. Create a sticky solution using cornstarch and water or a mixture of petroleum jelly dissolved with a light dishwashing liquid. Spread it on a yellow or any bright colored construction paper. Hang up near those damaged crops. These pests admire yellow and bright colors. They will gather and get stuck. It is additionally a smart idea to observe their populations for you to respond quickly when you detect them.
Use predatory pests
Encarsia Formosa, a species of wasp that is commercially available from vendors of biological pest control agents, is an effective parasitoid of the sweet potato whitefly. One wasp can eliminate up to 100 whiteflies, which makes this method very effective. You can buy these wasps and release them into your greenhouse.
Delphastus pusillus, a small ladybird beetle, is just as effective. Like Encarsia Formosa, this beetle is available from biological pest control outlets.
Aluminum reflective mulch chase away whiteflies by making it complicated for them to locate their host crop. This is a safe approach to defend peppers and tomatoes from diseases transmitted by whiteflies.
Maintain a clean greenhouse
Ensure you clean your greenhouse in between growing seasons. Cleaning should be thorough and cover the entire breadth of the greenhouse, including the workbenches. For this reason, ensure the greenhouse kits you purchase are easy to clean when necessary.
Remove all infected plants and destroy them. Never compost them. Dump all crop residue right after harvest. Whitefly nymphs will continuously mature on dead and dying plant matter, providing adults to reinfest your crops. Apply fine-meshed screens in your greenhouses to prevent whiteflies.
Plant a diversified garden
Diversified gardens that have several species of flowering plants can help contain whitefly infestations because such gardens provide appropriate conditions that allow natural predators such as lacewing larvae and ladybird beetles to thrive.