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How to get rid of white-flies on tomato plants

Whitefly feeds off tomato plant juices
Whitefly feeds off tomato plant juices
USDA via wikimedia commons

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, white flies are relatives of aphids, another pesky bug that ruins tomatoes. Here are a few tips on identifying if your tomato plant has white-flies and how to get rid of them.

You’ll know white-flies are on your tomato plants when you walk by your plants and the little critters are flying around like bees are to honey. These insects thrive off of the liquid in the plant known as plant juice, which converts into a sticky residue known as honeydew. This honeydew can wreak havoc on your beautiful tomato plants by turning into a fungal disease on the leaves and ultimately kill the plant.

One of the most common homemade solution has been to spray a mixture of dish soap and water. Grab a spray bottle, fill with water and add a few drops of dish soap, shake and spray the leaves. Let it dry. But that doesn't always work, the Almanac has this concoction that seems a bit stronger and not as harmful as insecticidal soap which is another solution to use, but all must be repeated about three times.

The Almanac’s solution is:

  • 1 – 32 oz spray bottle
  • 5 parts water
  • 2 parts rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tablespoon liquid soap
  • Spray mixture on plants.

Here are a couple of other remedies that don’t include spraying a chemical on the tomato plant which you plan to eat.

1. Ladybugs and spiders (be sure to research what type is available in your region and is safe to be let loose in the environment).

2. Whitefly traps, sold in garden stores.

If you have a solution that works well for your tomato plants, please share them in the comment section below.