Whiteflies are an annual problem for Ft. Lauderdale homeowners. These nuisance pests can rapidly explode in population and cause serious infestations in your yard. Once an infestation takes hold, whiteflies can be challenging to eliminate. Many homeowners wonder if they can get rid of whiteflies on their own. DIY efforts rarely work, and the problem needs to be spotted very early. Here’s how to identify whiteflies, and home remedies you can use to treat an infestation.
What Are Whiteflies?
Despite the name, whiteflies aren’t true “flies;” rather, they’re more closely related to insects like aphids, mealybugs, and scale. These winged, soft-bodied insects feed on plant sap, causing leaf damage that can quickly kill a plant. For example, unlike black flies (horseflies), whiteflies will only damage our plants, instead of humans or animals.
Homeowners should be vigilant against whiteflies since they return year after year to Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding area. While it’s best to leave pest identification to the experts, take a close look at your plants during whitefly season (which is nearly year-round in South Florida). Look for insects that are moth-like in appearance, 1/16th of an inch in length, and feature gray-white coloring.
Home Remedies for Whiteflies
If you’ve determined whiteflies are present in your yard, there are some home remedies you can try to control the population. While it’s best to leave whitefly control to the experts, here are some tips to remove whiteflies from your yard and protect your plants:
- Spray with water: As an early defense against whiteflies (when populations are low), gently spray plants with water. This dislodges whitefly eggs and nymphs. Since nymphs don’t move after an initial creeping phase, they’ll starve and die when they’re removed from their food source.
- Attract natural predators: Natural pest control is always a good thing, so introducing or attracting natural whitefly predators can help control whitefly populations. Natural enemies include dragonflies, green lacewings, ladybugs, and whitefly parasite wasps. You can create a habitat that attracts and supports these insects, and plant flowers to attract hummingbirds, another natural whitefly predator.
- Use horticultural oil: Horticultural oils, like neem oil, are often effective against whiteflies. It kills whiteflies at all life stages and discourages black sooty mold, too. Neem oil is a natural remedy that’s safe for humans and pets when used correctly.
Home Remedies Rarely Work Against the Whitefly—Get Help From the Experts Instead
Whiteflies are a year-round concern for Florida homeowners, and home remedies are rarely effective against them. If you want to protect your beautiful landscape from these damaging pests, working with the experts in whitefly control is the only option. At Service Choice of Ft. Lauderdale, we offer proven-effective, eco-friendly whitefly treatment programs that remove whitefly populations and keep them from coming back, so you can enjoy peace of mind that your landscape is well-protected. Call us today at (954) 568-9955 to schedule a free inspection and estimate for your property.