Brian Heg

How to tackle the whitefly?

Whiteflies are an issue that many people who have a garden outside or in a greenhouse struggle with. Luckily there are many organic solutions for this problem. This article will discuss three types of solutions. To name: plants that the whitefly does not like, natural predators of the whitefly which could be incorporated into the garden and organic pest solutions.


marigolds -


Herbs and plants that prevent whitefly

By using scented herbs like marigolds, basil and nicotiana (ornamental tobacco) the white fly will not like that and will keep away. The smell from fragrant herbs is the result of the distribution of tiny globules that contain oils. The whitefly picks this up and will not come near the plants.


ornamental tobacco - Photo by: Magnus Manske

Insects to tackle the whitefly

Insects can be very helpfull to help tackle the whitefly problem. This is a natural way of dealing with the issue at hand and it will not harm the produce in process.

Parasitic wasps are a option for the problem of whitefly. These are parasitic insects that lay their eggs or larvae in the eggs of the whitefly. the eggs of the parasitic wasp slowly weaken and kill the developing whiteflies from within causing noticeable changes. Each female wasp (they’re all females by the way) can do this up to 200 immature whiteflies! Plants that attract the parasitic wasps are: dill, malva (mallow), marigolds, yarrow, cosmos, lobelia.


Parasitic Wasp -

Another insect that is a predator of the whitefly is the predatory mite. There a many varieties of predatory mites and not all will work against the whitefly. Amblyseius swirskii is a race that will do good to tackle the issue of whitefly, also called swirski mite, is used to combat whitefly, thrips and spider mites. In addition, this mite can also develop on vegetable foods such as pollen and plant juices and will therefore easily settle in the crop. 


Predatory Mites - Picture by: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

Ladybugs are also a good solution to whiteflies. Ladybugs love eating whiteflies and they are very cheap. Besides ladybug and other insects the Delphastus pusillus is another option. This is a ladybird beetle that lays a few eggs a day on patches of whitefly eggs, and when they hatch they’ll eat 1000 whitefly eggs a day, or a dozen large nymphs. There are dozens of commercially available, garden-friendly predators of the whitefly.

Organic pest solutions for whitefly 

A brand that has been known to work against whitefly is Safer Brand’s Insect Killing Soap which will get rid of whiteflies without killing off insects beneficial to your plants.


Safer Brand’s Insect Killing Soap -

This gentle whitefly killer is made from potassium salts and fatty acids. The salts strip away the protective layering present in the whitefly’s immature stages, and the acid will kill them and adult whiteflies. The soap also leaves a residue that creates difficulties for whiteflies trying to land and attach to plants. It is OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) listed for organic gardening. This will not have harmfull chemicals in it so you do not have to worry about harming or poisoning your plants.