Actually, the white fly is not a fly as such, although it is known by that name because of its appearance; they are white and have small wings, which remind us of the fly’s physiognomy.
It is a pest that can attack both indoor and outdoor plants. They like humidity and high temperatures, so it is more frequent to reproduce during the summer and spring seasons. They reproduce very quickly. They leave their eggs on the underside of the leaves, from where they absorb their sap and cause the leaves to lose their colour and end up drying out.
As we have said, the whitefly plague attacks both indoor and outdoor plants, and its preferred “victims” are vegetables such as pumpkin, zucchini or cabbage, as well as tomatoes.
What can be done to fight whitefly?
First and foremost, as can be advised for treating any other pest, the most important thing is prevention. In addition to observing your plants daily to be able to detect any anomaly in time, it is advisable to consult professionals in the sector, so that they can advise you on the best care and attention. Humidity can be a reason for problems in your plantation, but in some cases it is due to excess and in others it is due to lack of humidity.
If you have already detected that your plant has been invaded by whitefly, you can use different control measures to help eliminate it.
Some products are Neem oil or potassium soap, both of which are natural and ecological, and which you can easily purchase. They are not pollutants and have no contraindications for plants.
You can also use traps, filters, mosquito nets or adhesive colour strips that trap these insects. You can buy all these products in specialised shops, although you can also try to make a trap yourself.
The colour of the traps must be yellow, as this is a colour that attracts insects. They will approach them and get stuck or trapped. These methods are more effective as a preventive measure, because if the leaves are already infested, another more combative method will be more useful and effective.
Another method of controlling whitefly is that of other insects, which are beneficial to plants but lethal to the pest.
For example, Erythmocerus eremicus is a parasitic insect that feeds on whitefly larvae. Among the parasitic wasp species, there are the scarsia formosa and the eretmocerus mundus, which also feed on the larvae and the substance released by the fly.
The whitefly plague is very common, but it is not invincible. You just have to pay attention, care and observation, as well as use preventive measures to drive it away and, in case it infests our plants, use some of the mentioned methods to fight it.