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Tiny white flying pests on tomatoes
by Cindi Conway
(Kimberling City, MO)
Q. I have tiny white flying insects attacking my tomatoes. They appear mostly on the underside of the leaves, and leave tiny little discolorations where they bite. I've never seen them before and can't get rid of them. I have used insecticidal soap, neem oil, Sevin and a couple other things, but nothing seems to dissuade them. HELP!
Tomato Dirt responds ...
A. Sounds like white flies. Congratulations on taking several of the recommended precautions already to get rid of them.
But one tactic you can also use has had excellent success among gardeners: spraying water from the gardening hose on the underneath side of tomato leaves. A steady stream of water, believe it or not, can kill adult white flies, and in turn reduce the numbers of eggs they lay. Death is by drowning. Since white flies reproduce quickly (from egg to reproducing adult in about a month), you can avoid a population explosion with your water hose.
Have you tried yellow sticky traps for white flies? While they are often used indoors, many gardeners have also had success in hanging them near their affected tomato plants in the garden.
Good luck and happy gardening!
Your friends at Tomato Dirt
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