Grab Your Hose To Banish Whiteflies From Your Garden

While it may look like there are small grains of rice covering your plants, those are actually whiteflies. Though tiny, these pests can damage your garden quite a bit. They can drink your plants dry, causing foliage to drop off. Severe infestations can kill an entire plant or severely affect your harvest. They repopulate quickly and hide underneath leaves, which is the perfect recipe for a secret infestation. There are plenty of ways to get rid of whiteflies, but knocking them off with a strong water stream from your hose is the simplest method.

Once you spot whiteflies, you should remove them as soon as possible. They leave behind honeydew, a sticky substance that reduces the ability for the plant to undergo photosynthesis and also attracts ants. Further, where there are ants, there may also be aphids, as ants farm aphids to feast on their honeydew as well. Honeydew left behind on leaves can also create mold growth, a more sinister problem than ants. Between the plant-sucking bugs, mold, and honeydew-farming ants, your greenery will have serious problems when whiteflies are around.

The most organic and easiest pest control you'll find

You can buy pesticides for whiteflies, but those aren't the safest route. Another solution is to buy fly traps and neem oil, but those cost money. The garden hose is probably already in your hand, and water won't hurt anyone, making it the most convenient and safest option available. Use a strong water stream to wash the bugs off the leaves. You may need to hold up the leaves to ensure the water is hitting your target. The stream of water should be strong enough to knock the whiteflies off the plant but not so strong that the leaves get injured. For large infestations, spray the leaves once each week. Once you notice a decrease in the population, you can lower the frequency of the treatment to once every two or three weeks.

Though water is safe and necessary for your plants, too much of a good thing can turn into a problem. Wet leaves keep fungi alive and can spread diseases throughout your garden. Keep plenty of space between your plants to increase airflow and limit the water treatment to once per week. Too much water in the soil can lead to cracked fruit, wilting, and root rot, all of which can become severe problems if you don't give your plants a break.