Tag: pests

Mosquitoes

Once again mosquitoes have taken over our backyard. This seems to happen every year. It has become impossible to spend any time outdoors. What can I do to deal with this annual dilemma?

Mosquitoes have to be one of the more bothersome pests of summer. Nothing will drive me indoors quicker than a swarm of mosquitoes hovering around me, biting my ankles, and humming in my ears. And with the threat of West Nile Virus, mosquito control is even more crucial. However, it is important to look at the big picture when dealing with this pest. As with most pest control, broad applications of chemical treatments may not be the best solution. In many cases, taking measured steps to control mosquitoes in your own backyard produces the best results for both you and the environment.

Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so your first step should be to deal with the source of the problem. Working your way outward from the area around your home, look for and eliminate standing water. Mosquitoes can breed in anything from birdbaths, drainage from leaky pipe joints, garden pools or saucers under potted plants. Keep your gutters and drains clear of leaves and debris. Install French drains or sump pumps in soggy areas of your garden.

If you have contained water features that cannot be eliminated such as garden pools or cisterns try treating the water. There are many products on the market today that will kill mosquito larvae without harming other wildlife. I’ve used a mosquito pellet that kills larvae in my fountain with great success. It is best not to use these chemicals in open sources of water like streams or ponds.

Goldfish are a natural predator of mosquitoes. Consider adding a few to your garden pool. This solution works best with small man made pools and ponds with no natural drainage. It is not advisable for larger bodies of water or naturally occurring bodies of water because exotic fish will kill native fish and vice versa. However, many native fish will also eat mosquitoes. Check to see what would be the best solution for your area.

Commercial insect repellants are actually quite effective these days. However, it is safest to apply only to your clothing, as repeated application directly to your skin may be hazardous.

Using screened porches or netting is a good way to prevent mosquitoes from getting to you. If you already have a screened porch be sure that it is properly sealed.

Ceiling fans or standing fans are a great way to prevent mosquito infestations. Not only do you keep the pests away, but you get a cool breeze as well.

Japanese Beetles

An infestation of Japanese beetles can be very disheartening. To deal with
these pests it is good to start by knowing a little about the life cycle of
a Japanese beetle.

The Japanese beetle starts life as a white grub, living just below the thatch
line in your lawn. Adult females lay eggs in summer, which mature into grubs
by fall. The grubs go dormant over winter and awaken in spring to continue
developing and emerge in the summer as a Japanese beetle.

If you have a large number of grubs under your turf in spring, chances are
you’re going to have a problem in your garden the following summer.

The grubs are a grayish-white with a brown head and two rows of spines and
they usually lay curled in the shape of a ‘C’. The adult has a blue-green
body and head with copper wings.

One way to detect large grub populations is by monitorinmolea>, raccoon or blackbird activity. These animals eat white grubs. If you are having problems with moles, you just might have grubs. It is important to note that a low population of grubs is not necessarily a bad thing. Having a few grubs around ensures the continuation of Bacillus popilliae, a disease of Japanese beetles, from year to year. Small quantities of grubs also aid in aerating your lawn.

Japanese beetles cause damage in both the grub stage and as an adult insect.
As a grub they eat through the roots of your grass causing large patches of
wilted or dead grass. In cases of severe damage you will be able to lift the
turf right off the ground where the grubs have eaten through the roots.

Adult Japanese beetles move on from your lawn to nearby flower borders and
vegetable gardens eating leaves, flowers and fruits. They tend to eat the soft
tissue between leaf veins leaving a green skeleton behind, which will eventually
fall off the plant.

Japanese Beetle Control Options

Milky Spore Disease

Bacillus popilliae, or milky spore disease, is a naturally occurring disease of
Japanese beetle grubs that is not harmful to humans or other creatures. There
are several commercial dusts available. The grubs eat grass roots that have been
dusted with the spores, become infected with the disease, die, decompose and then
release more the spores into the soil. While this is not usually a quick fix –
it can take up to two seasons to significantly reduce populations – once the
cycle becomes established it can provide years of protection.

Beneficial Nematodes

Nematodes are microscopic parasitic worms. While this may sound unpleasant, there
are many types that benefit our environment. Heterorhabditis heliothidis and
Steinernema carpocapsae are both parasitic to Japanese beetle grubs but harmless to
other plants, insects and animals. Soil moisture is essential for these nematodes
to take effect. A film of moisture is needed for nematodes to attack grubs. Water
both before and after nematodes are applied to your lawn.

Hand Picking

You can hand pick or even vacuum adult Japanese beetles. This should be done in
early morning when the dew on their wings and cooler air make them lethargic. If
this is done early enough in the season, before the females have had a chance to
lay eggs, you can further reduce the population of grubs in your lawn.

Plant Traps

Japanese beetles are attracted to certain plants. You can use the plants as traps to make hand picking them easier. Some of these plants have the added benefit of being poisonous to the Japanese beetle. Just be aware that what is poisonous to the Japanese beetle is harmful to people and animals as well. Good trap plants are four o’clocks (poisonous), larkspur (poisonous), castor bean (poisonous), borage, marigolds, light colored zinnias, and white roses.

Neem Oil

Neem is an extract from the seeds of neem trees. Since it is derived from a plant, it
is biodegradable and breaks down in the soil without harming the environment. Depending
on the infestation apply a diluted concentrate about every 3 to 7 days. Saturate the
entire plant, and be sure to get the underside of the leaves and the canes. Neem is
also effective control against whiteflies, cucumber beetles, aphids and many types of
caterpillars.

Gypsy Moth Control

When do I put tape around the trees to keep the gypsy moths off? Thanks, Lynne

The gypsy moth was introduced into the United States by a French scientist living in Massachusetts. The native silk spinning caterpillars were proving to be susceptible to disease so he brought the gypsy moths into this country in an attempt to make a disease resistant hybrid. When some of the moths escaped from his lab, they grew to be one of the
most notorious pests of hardwood trees in the Eastern United States. Over 75 million acres of trees have been defoliated since 1970.

They feed on several hundred different species of trees and shrubs but oaks and aspens are their favorites. Some of the highest concentrations of the Gypsy Moth are in the southern Appalachian Mountains, the Ozark Mountains and in the northern Lake states.

How you choose to combat this pest depends on where it is in its life cycle. The eggs hatch in early spring through mid-May at about the time when most trees are budding out. Natural dispersal occurs when the newly hatched, tiny
larvae hang from the host tree on silken threads. They are so small and light that they can float quite a distance in
a strong wind. During this dispersal a lot will fall to the ground. This is the stage when you should wrap tree trunks with sticky bands to prevent larvae from crawling up to the foliage. If the bark on your tree is furrowed, put aluminum foil or other stuffing between band and trunk so they cannot crawl beneath it. If the bands lose their adhesion use a product such as Tangletrap to resurface the bands. Any larvae less than 1/2 inch long may be sprayed with BT, but it is not very effective on the larger larvae.

If the larvae make it up the tree, they will remain there for the first 3 or 4 molts (called instars) feeding on the
leaves. Each molt increases the size of the caterpillar, which goes on to eat more leaves.

In early summer, when the caterpillar reaches the fourth molt it will begin a daily migration up and down the trunk
seeking shade to rest in during the day. At this point you need to change your pest control strategy. Remove the
sticky bands as they are mostly useful for young larvae. Tie 18 inch wide burlap bands around the tree. Fold the
top of the band over the bottom to create a flap. The larvae will crawl into the shade between the layers of burlap
where you can easily pick and destroy them. Drop them into soapy water or just snip them in half with scissors.

In a year when populations are heavy, the caterpillars do not migrate. Instead they remain in the branches and feed
continuously. I guess they’re afraid of not getting their share. If they completely strip the tree, they will crawl
elsewhere looking for more food.

During this stage, they will molt two more times. In mid-summer they will enter the pupal stage for a couple of
weeks, emerge as moths, mate and the female will lay creamy white egg masses covered with yellow hairs. The moths die
after mating and the winter is spent in the egg stage.

There are pheromone traps that can be used in mid to late summer when the moths emerge and the males fly during the
afternoons looking for a female to mate with. However, most of the species of females cannot fly and remain close to the area where they emerged from the pupae.

Late fall and early spring is the time to search out and destroy egg masses. You can find these egg masses on the
underside of tree limbs, bark, rocks, or any structure, but most will be on the tree trunks. When collecting them to
destroy, look for pinholes on the eggs. These are evidence that they have been parasitized with by a natural predator. Hold off removing and destroying them until after the first hard frost to allow this beneficial insect to build up its numbers. When the temperature is above 40 degrees, spray egg masses with oil spray to kill them.

Alternatively you can collect them in a cup and microwave them on high for 2 minutes, cover them with soapy water for
2 days, scrape them into a jar of alcohol, burn them. Throw the remains in the trash.

Birds are also helpful in the battle against the gypsy moth. Chickadees and nuthatches will peck at the egg masses and some species of birds with longer beaks will feed on the caterpillars, but generally they can’t eat enough to bring a population under control. Most birds won’t touch them because of the extensive hairs on the older larvae.

Deer mice and shrews are the biggest predator of larger caterpillars and ants are the biggest predator of the tiny,
young larvae.

Grasshopper Control

I have been plagued with grasshoppers this year. They seem to be chewing
up everything in sight. Large grasshopper populations are common during
years when the spring is dry and the summer is long and hot.

The best time to get a handle on a grasshopper problem is in early summer
when the insects are still in a juvenile stage. Check areas of tall grass
or weeds where they like to breed and lay eggs. This is where you are most
likely to find young grasshoppers.

Your direct treatment strategy should be two-fold. For immediate results
spray them with an insecticidal soap. Next, sprinkle the area with bait
called Nosema locustae, which is a microscopic organism that infects
grasshoppers with a disease. It’s usually mixed with bran meal. The
grasshoppers eat the bran meal, become infected and eventually die. The
disease is passed on to new generations as well. While this treatment may
take a while, it has a long-term impact. Both the insecticidal soap and
Nosema locustae are safe for you and your pets. Nosema locustae is
available commercially under the brand name of Semaspor.

There are some indirect solutions you can try as well. If you have the
space, allow the grass to grow in one area of your garden. The
grasshoppers will congregate there and thus be easier to treat.

In late summer and early fall, turn the soil in spots where you think
grasshoppers might be breeding. This will expose and destroy eggs that
will hatch next spring. Again, look for those weedy or grassy areas.

Chicken, guineas, praying mantis and cats are all grasshopper predators.

Sprinkle the ground around your roses with diatomaceous earth. This dust
is actually tiny algae fossils that cut into the grasshoppers’ exoskeleton
causing them to dehydrate.

There are also ways you can repel grasshoppers. Try planting calendula and
cilantro to drive them away or spray your roses with a garlic spray or ahot pepper spray.

Buffalo Gnats

Lately, when trying to work outside in my garden, I am plagued with small insects that swarm around my head, get into my eyes and bite my ears, painfully I might add. They bother my dog so much, she won’t even come outside with me and my neighbor told me they killed one of his chickens. What are these and what can we do?

Most of these flies are 1/8-inch long or less and their second body region or thorax is very convex giving a humped appearance, hence the nickname “buffalo gnat.” Only the females bite looking for a blood meal in order to lay her eggs. They require moving water to breed and develop as the water movement provides them with oxygen and food. The female will fly 7 to 10 miles looking for a meal and then will return to the water to lay her eggs where the larvae attach themselves to submerged objects, feed and molt six times before emerging from the water as adults. Females can live from a few days to more than 3 months until conditions are right to mate.

Yard fogging or spraying is not recommended or effective for several reasons. Black flies feed during the day, a time when fogging or spraying is the least effective and it does nothing to control the pest because it doesn’t destroy the larvae at its source. There is a natural control, Bacillus thurgiensis israeliensis (Bti), which can successfully reduce populations of larvae when applied to moving water sources, but needs to be done on a larger scale than homeowners can accomplish.

To protect yourself and your animals it is important to understand the way these bugs work. The flies are attracted to us or our animals by the carbon dioxide and moisture we exhale, dark colors, and perspiration. They prefer calm, sunny days and will not fly at night or on windy days. They are daytime, outdoor feeders so the best form of protection is avoidance. If you do venture outdoors to work in your garden wear light colored clothes and long sleeves and a hat with netting like beekeepers use to further protect your face and neck. Repellents such as DEET and vanilla extract or vanilla scented sprays can offer some relief against them, but the effect is usually only temporary. Pets are at a much lower risk of being bitten if kept indoors during the day, even if the building is not fly-proof. For chickens and other livestock, keep them inside in a darkened barn during the day and use fans to prevent overheating and simulate wind.

Fungus Gnats

How does one get rid of gnats in houseplant soil? I have also heard these gnats called fungus gnats. They are over running my house! PLEASE help me!

I can sympathize with your situation. I recently moved a potted plant into my office and have been dealing with fungus gnats ever since! It is a common problem during the winter when houseplants are moved indoors.

To combat the fungus gnat it is good to know a little about them. The adult gnat lives for about 1 week, mates and reproduces. Outdoors they can be found in compost bins, around rotting wood, and in leaf piles. They thrive on decaying organic materials and fungi. Indoors they are attracted to similar conditions found in moist potting soils that have a high organic content.

The females will lay her eggs on top of the soil. The hatched larvae feed on plant roots and root hairs in the top inch of the soil. They also feed on fungi on the surface of containers and potting benches.

Fungus gnats only eat during the larvae stage of their life cycle. To eradicate the problem, you must eliminate them at this stage.

First, isolate the plant or plants where the gnats are living. Next, cut back on water to make the soil less attractive to the adult female gnat. You don’t need to stop watering completely, just allow the soil to dry out between watering.

If you catch the problem early enough, cutting back on water may be all you have to do. However, if the problem is more severe you should take the additional step of removing the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil. This can be done with a fork or a spoon. Do this gently to prevent damaging the surface roots of your plant. Now, just add a new layer of soil. It is important to buy new, sterile potting soil for this.

Now, if you change the soil and you still have a problem, I suggest applying an organic pest control containing Bacillus thuringiensis, or BT. You should be able to find a product at your local garden center. Select one that is water-soluble and drench the soil with the mixture. To work, BT must be consumed by the gnat larvae. So apply your mixture to any containers you suspect may be harboring the pest.

Fire Ants

I have a vegetable garden in southeast North Carolina and now have a problem with fire ants. Please tell me what I can do to get rid of these annoying ants. I am getting ready to plant and need help right away. Thanks, Kelly

Imported fire ants are a huge nuisance throughout the southern United States. They kill newborn domestic animals and wildlife, especially ground nesting birds, injure livestock, damage crop seeds and seedlings, out-compete native ants for resources and inflict pain on humans and pets. Although they do prey on flea larvae, cinch bugs, cockroach eggs, ticks and other pests, the problems they cause outweigh any benefits.

Fire ants make their home in open, sunny areas with a nearby source of water, which is why they are often found in our lawns and gardens. They also like the warm, moist environments such as compost piles, rotting logs and the area between the soil and the wood that frames raised garden beds.

A fire ant mound can easily reach 18 inches high and be 2 feet wide with tunnels extending 5 or 6 feet underground. These nests have single or multiple queen colonies with high reproductive rates that can disperse easily to form new colonies.

Mother Nature lends a hand in the battle against fire ants. Birds, lizards, spiders, toads, dragonflies, robber flies, and other species of ants all do their part to keep this pest in check.

Phorid flies are a beneficial insect that are used to control fire ants. They kill by injecting their egg in the
fire ant. When the ants recognize that the flies are present, they run for cover. This causes their feeding patterns to be disrupted and allows native ants to effectively compete with them. Breeding programs are in place to help increase the populations of Phorid flies, but the process is slow going because these flies are specialists. The species of Phorid must come from the same country of origin as the targeted fire ant.

There are several successful and earth-friendly methods of controlling fire ants. Some people use a soil drench containing three species of nematodes that parasitize and kill fire ants. This product works best in sandy soils.

For treating individual mounds you might try another type of soil drench made with d-limonene, an extract of orange oil.

Tomato Cutworm

I go to great lengths to create the right environment for growing tomatoes. This year I even went so far as to build framed beds so that I could get the soil just right. Sadly, when I check on them I find that the young seedlings have been lopped off a ground level. What is causing this?

I enjoy receiving viewer mail and during the spring and summer I always get lots of questions about tomatoes and how to grow them successfully. Why wouldn’t I, I mean we plant over 40-million tomato plants in this country each year!

It sounds like your problem is the dreaded cutworm. One of the best ways to deal with this is when you plant your young seedlings, just wrap a piece of aluminum foil around the base of the stem and in no time the plant will grow large enough that it will no longer be attractive to this pest.

Now another point I to keep in mind when raising tomatoes is that you should plant them in different places from year to year. For instance, one year I grew tomatoes in my raised beds, the next I grew them along a trellis. This is just one way to stay a step ahead of the pests. I even go so far as to avoid planting tomato plants where I have planted other members of the tomato family, such as eggplant and peppers.

Bagworm Scavenger Hunt

 

BagwormsI’ve long been resigned to the fact that pests and diseases are as much a part of the gardening experience as beautiful flowers and bountiful harvests, but that doesn’t make the problems any easier. Such was the case when I recently discovered signs of bagworms.

As I was strolling through the garden last week I noticed what looked like several tear-drop shaped clumps of dead foliage hanging from the branches of my arborvitaes. My heart sank as I realized they were bagworms – those voracious caterpillars that feed on the foliage of trees and shrubs, weaving little cocoons out of their silk and bits of dead leaves. I had already lost one of the trees to drought; I sure wasn’t going to let an infestation of bagworms take out the remaining two.

And that’s the kicker about bagworms; they can defoliate a tree pretty quickly. By the time you notice their damage, it may be too late.

I counted myself lucky that I caught the situation in late winter while the worms were still unhatched.

I started treatment for these pests by hand collecting the bags. Each bag contains 500 – 1000 eggs.

In addition to collecting the egg cases I knew I would also need to spray with an earth-friendly insecticide. The best time to spray is right after the bagworms hatch, but it can be tricky to know just when this happens. I decided to try a tip I recently read in the February issue of the American Nurseryman magazine about how to determine the best time to spray.

Bagworm Cocoons in a JarI put a few of the egg cases in a closed container and placed the container in a shady spot outside. It’s a control of sorts. I can watch the activity in the container and a few weeks after the eggs hatch and the baby worms begin making new bags, I’ll know to spray the trees to eliminate any of the bagworms that I might have missed.

What’s Bugging You?

Dealing with pests in the garden is just one of those realities of life. I’m always astonished at just how early in the growing season they begin to appear. Even
before that first flush of spring growth has finished, signs of damage are visible.

There is a lot of information out there to help you eradicate these pests. If you recognize one of the symptoms listed below I recommend that you do a little more
research to uncover the best solution for your situation. I also suggest using a method called Integrated Pest Management. Now, this is just a fancy term for taking an approach in the beginning that has the lowest impact on the environment and then using more extreme measures as each situation dictates.

To help you get a head start I’ve listed below some of the more common bugs that plague our gardens.

Aphids

Aphids

No pest in the garden is more insidious than the aphids. These tiny creatures can explode in population seemingly overnight. Aphids feed on sap, weakening the plant
resulting in curled or deformed leaves, stunted growth, wilting, yellowing and or loss of leaves. You may also notice a sticky residue on the surface of the leaves.
Fortunately they are easy to control with insecticidal soap or even by knocking them off the plant with a blast of water from the hose.

Colorado Potato Beetle

Potato Beetles
These guys love tomatoes, eggplants, pepper and potatoes especially much. The eggs are bright orange and usually found on the undersides of leaves. The best way to
control this pest is with crop rotation and by throwing out plant debris at the end of the growing season.

Earwigs

Earwig
Earwigs are small, about 3/4 of an inch and reddish brown. Their most distinguishing characteristic is the set of pinchers at the back end of their bodies. Small
populations are beneficial because they eat aphids, but large numbers will damage seedlings and foliage on mature plants.

To help reduce the population set out traps. They will congregate in a rolled up newspaper or tuna tins partially filled with vegetable oil. You can collect the traps in the morning and drop the bugs in a bucket of soapy water.

Flea Beetle

Flea Beetle Damage
These are tiny black insects that jump like a flea when disturbed. They cause a lot of problems in vegetable gardens in spring when young seedlings are planted and
again in July or August when the next generation of adults emerges.

Flea beetles eat holes in the leaves of your plants giving them the appearance of having been riddled with shotgun pellets. Chances are you will never see the culprit,
only the damage.

Because this insect is a moving target that can’t be sprayed directly, a repellent is more effective than an insecticide. Garlic spray is a good product to start with.
The strong odor will actually help keep the flea beetles away from your plants.

Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers
Grasshoppers can quickly overrun a garden, especially during hot, dry weather. For immediate relief, we spray with an insecticidal soap and then put out a bait called
Nosema locustae, which is a microscopic organism that infects grasshoppers with a disease.

In late summer and early fall, turn the soil in spots where you think grasshoppers might be breeding. This will expose and destroy eggs that will hatch next spring.

Harlequin Bugs

Harlequin Bugs
This colorful insect literally sucks the life out of plants. It is especially fond of leafy veggies like cabbage but will spread to other plants as well like cleome.
They can be controlled by handpicking or with an insecticidal soap.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese Beetles
Japanese beetles cause damage in both the grub stage and as an adult insect. As a grub, they eat through the roots of your grass causing large patches of wilted or dead
grass. In cases of severe damage, you will be able to lift the turf right off the ground. Adult Japanese beetles move on from your lawn to close by flower borders and
vegetable gardens eating leaves, flowers, and fruits. They tend to eat the soft tissue between leaf veins leaving a green skeleton behind, which will eventually fall off
the plant.

There are several methods you can use to deal with Japanese beetles, none of which seem to completely eradicate an already thriving population of adult insects. But we
gardeners are an optimistic lot and persistence can lead to victory. Some of the methods I recommend are milky spore disease, beneficial nematodes, hand picking and neem
oil.

Leaf Footed Bugs

Leaf Footed Bugs
This bug gets its name from the wide, leaf-shaped portion of its leg. There are many species of this bug. I found them marching across the back of sunflower, but apparently,
they seem to like roses as well. I find that an organic pest spray works well to combat these bugs.

Snails

Snail
Snails and slugs are the biggest challenge in my shade garden. To combat them I use an organic slug and snail bait. Also sprinkle crushed egg shells on the soil close to
the plant because they don’t like to travel across sharp surfaces.

Spidermites

Spidermites
These are microscopic spider-like pests that are hard to see until the damage is done. I have a problem with them every year, so I start treatment even before I see the
damage. Spidermites suck the chlorophyll out of plant leaves causing the foliage to dry up and turn yellow. The leaves become stippled with tiny, light colored dots.
Affected leaves feel like sandpaper, the texture is rough to the touch. Often you will find a fine webbing in and around the plant leaves. To treat spray every 7 days and try alternating between a hot pepper spray and an insecticidal soap. Other options are neem tree oil, BT, garlic insect repellent, and pyrethrins.

Spotted Cucumber Beetles

Cucumber Beetles
Although it’s called a cucumber beetle, this insect will feast on variety of plants such as cantaloupe, winter squash, pumpkin, gourd, summer squash, and watermelon. While
not a serious threat they can cause low fruit production and in some cases bacterial wilt, which will kill a plant.

Squash Vine Borer

Squash Borer
If your gourds, pumpkins or winter squash suddenly begin to wilt, they may be under attack from a squash borer, which is a moth larva. Check the base of the plant for chewed up stems and sawdust-like material. You might also see pinhead-size brown eggs on stems and the undersides of leaves. You can try to cut the larvae out of the stems by making a small incision on the stem where the damage stops. Remove the worm, clean the cut and cover with sterile soil. Spray the entire plant with insecticidal soap. If you have squash borers, dispose of plant debris at the end of the season to prevent the larvae from overwintering and returning next year.

Squash Bugs

Squash Bug
Similar in appearance to the leaf-footed bug this fellow can be found attacking plants in the cucurbit family. As they draw the sap out, a toxin is left behind that causes
the plant to turn black and wilt. Destroy any eggs you find on the underside of leaves to keep this pest at a minimum.

Tent Worms

Tent Worm
These caterpillars are out and about in spring. They create webby tents in the bows of trees where they lay eggs. I use BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) to kill tent worms. Simply
tear a hole in the web and spray inside. It’s toxic for the tent worms but safe for beneficials like bees and butterflies.

White Flies

Potato Beetles
You can tell that you have white flies by doing a simple test. Just shake the foliage of the plant and if a cloud of white insects flies out then you’ve got whiteflies. You can
see the evidence of whitefly damage in the lack of vigor in the plant and the sickly yellow discoloration of the leaves.

Because these pests fly, they are often hard to control. For the best results, I recommend using both insecticidal soap and whitefly traps. First, soak the underside of the leaves and the top of the plant all the way down to the base with the insecticidal soap. Next, hang a few whitefly traps. These are basically adhesive strips that are yellow. The color is attractive to whiteflies and other insects so they’re drawn to it, land on it, stick, and eventually die. You can pick these up at your local garden center and
they’re easy to install.