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Whitefly

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Time to act
Time to act

Do not Time to act in January

Do not Time to act in February

Do Time to act in March

Do Time to act in April

Do Time to act in May

Do Time to act in June

Do Time to act in July

Do Time to act in August

Do Time to act in September

Do Time to act in October

Do Time to act in November

Do not Time to act in December

Turn over a leaf and you’ll see 2mm long white flies. With a life cycle of just three weeks, whitefly breed very fast. Both adults and offspring are sap feeders and a severe attack will weaken a plant. They excrete the sticky excess, called honeydew, onto lower leaves where it encourages black sooty mould to grow. If left, this weakens the growth of the plant.

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Symptoms

When you brush past your plants in the greenhouse clouds of tiny white flies fill the air.

Find it on

tomatoes, cucumbers, fuchsias, other greenhouse plants

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Organic

Hang up yellow sticky traps to catch flying adults. Grow strong-smelling plants, such as French marigolds, alongside your tomatoes as a deterent. Every two to three days spray the underside of leaves with a soap-based spray containing fatty acids to kill emerging adults. When the temperature remains above 10 celsius in the greenhouse you can use a biological control, such as the parasitic wasp, Encarsia formosa, which attacks the juvenile forms of whitefly.