By the end of a scorching summer, as the season prepares to change, heat stress may have already taken its toll on gardens, landscapes, and flowering plants in Louisiana. Heat stress can weaken these plants and make them susceptible to infestation by pests such as scales, Azalea Lace Bugs, stinging caterpillars, and whiteflies.
Even with great care during the growing season, plants can still get invaded by these pesky creatures, especially whiteflies. Gardeners and plant lovers find this quite frustrating. Read on to find out the best methods of getting rid of and preventing whiteflies from coming back.
What are whiteflies?
Whiteflies are one of the worst plant pests in Louisiana. They are small, white, winged insects that are a tad bit larger than a gnat. Both the adults and larvae feed on and damage plants. They suck the sap from the foliage, chew on the tissue between the leaves, create holes in them, and may leave nothing but a leaf skeleton.
Spotting plant damage caused by whiteflies
Whiteflies love to feed on plants such as hibiscus, poinsettia, lantana, gardenia, Confederate rose and other bedding plants. Here are some telltale signs of the damage wreaked by these annoying pests:
• Dull leaves
• Stunted growth
• A sticky substance known as “honeydew” around the veins or underside of leaves
• A black, sooty deposit on leaves
• Premature yellowing or falling of leaves
How to get rid of whiteflies and keep them away
It can be difficult to control an infestation of whiteflies when a large population of them attack your plants. Before you uproot your plants, you can try these do-it-yourself treatments or call a professional pest control company to help get rid of pesky whiteflies!
• Spray plants with an insecticidal soap solution
• Spray plants with an insecticide e.g. malathion, dimethoate talstar, or acephate
• Suffocate whiteflies using insecticidal oil sprays e.g. organic neem oil
• Cut off parts of plants heavily infested
• Uproot the plant (last resort)
When to call a professional pest control specialist
Prevention and early detection are two ways to keep whiteflies from destroying your plants. If you’ve tried home methods that didn’t work, or whiteflies keep coming back, Bayou Cajun Termite and Pest Control can help effectively exterminate whiteflies. Call our Louisiana office today at 225-261-4198 to book an appointment. Your plants will finally be able to breathe, pest-free!