The whitefly is a common household and garden pest that looks like a small, white moth and is about 1 mm long. It attacks plant leaves, buds and stems by sucking out the juice, causing the plant to turn yellow, eventually stunting its growth and killing it. Whiteflies produce honeydew, which drips onto the plant and becomes a sooty mold which can spread plant viruses. Fortunately, there is a cost-effective way to trap and kill these pests.
Adult whiteflies are attracted to the color yellow, so by taking a bright yellow object, such as heavy paper or posterboard, and covering it with a sticky substance, you have a homemade whitefly trap. Staple the paper or posterboard to a wooden stake, such as a wooden paint stirrer, and cover with any sticky substance such as heavy motor oil or petroleum jelly. The wooden paint stirrer is a good choice because it is thin enough to staple your posterboard onto it. To make the cleanup easier and to also save on posterboard, cut a piece big enough to fit inside a clear plastic bag--the best choice is the thin, cheap bags that are 11 by 14 inches. Staple the bag shut, and then cover with the oil or petroleum jelly. Place the traps into the ground near where whitefly activity has been spotted.
Another good idea for a trap consists of taking an old pane of glass and painting one side of it yellow. Once the paint has dried, cover the opposite side with either motor oil or petroleum jelly and place it near any infested plants. Every month, just wipe the glass clean and reapply the oil or jelly.
- Photo Credit Yellow paper square image by jc from Fotolia.com
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