These little buggers are everywhere! You won’t know you have them until you begin to move around leaves (both you physically moving the leaves and you moving yourself amongst the leaves). As I was attempting to grab a weed, I noticed that there were little white specks in the air. Just a quickly as I noticed them they disappeared. I started moving around again and shimmying some of the lettuce leaves. The lettuce leaves, that’s where they were hiding. I dropped my spade and off to the internet I went.
Here’s the word, whiteflies are a lot like aphids. They suck the life-juice out of your plants and secrete honeydew. Insects like ants will farm them for their honeydew and protect them from their predators as best they can. (Ants do this for aphids as well, even storing their eggs over winter months.)
Here’s what you can do. You can get some insecticidal soap, pyrethrum spray, seaweed powder/spray, Spinosad, or sticky traps. The sticky traps seem ingenious because they are like a yellow post-it with the sticky stuff all over it. Supposedly they are attracted to the yellow and all you need to do to really get them is stir them up with your movement.
I have Neem II, a pyrethrum spray, but it doesn’t seem to be doing enough against these snowy pests. My aunt recently observed that the whiteflies are the culprit in the yellowing and drooping of our potato plants. (I noticed that the ants were mighty active in there and would remove and stomp every leaf that they concentrated their critter farming on). I don’t think I would recommend the Neem II, because it doesn’t seem to have the pest fighting power that I am looking for (it didn’t save my basil either from the leafhoppers, but it did get the aphids off the chamomile every time).
The seaweed sounds promising and Spinosad… well I know not what to think about that. I will have to keep you posted on the whitefly situation. If only flour worked on them like it did on the cabbage worms.