Keeping plants at home means contending with the occasional pest. While some garden pests are just an annoyance, others can cause damage and even threaten the life of your plants. One common pest is the whitefly, which can infest both your outdoor garden and indoor houseplants. Here is a guide to everything you need to know about whiteflies:
As their name suggests, whiteflies are white-colored insects resembling flies. They're slightly triangular in shape and can be smaller than a grain of rice. While there are many different species of whitefly, they are more prolific in warmer regions where they can survive winter weather.
Whiteflies are active during the daytime and scatter when disturbed, making them easier to spot than some other plant pests. However, the most common sign of a whitefly infestation is a sticky residue called honeydew the bugs produce when feeding.
In addition to the sticky honeydew, you might find whiteflies themselves on the underside of leaves, particularly along the veins. They also lay eggs underneath the leaves and tend to target tender, new growth on foliage plants.
While whiteflies can cause trouble in your garden, there are steps you can take to treat an infestation and prevent new ones from happening. Here are some ways you can rid your plants of whiteflies:
These are just the basics of dealing with whiteflies. As with all plant pests, the best way to prevent them is to carefully inspect every new plant you buy. With the right knowledge and vigilance, you can keep your garden safe and healthy.