Pests of the Garden

Whiteflies on tomatoes

(Re-posted from my original blog on Blogger). That’s right…we have garden pests. On our tomatoes! This is very disturbing news for me – and rather gross. There are a ton on the plants right now. I first had to figure what the little guys were. Originally I thought that they were aphids because those are pretty common pests. However, after watching a YouTube video (see below for the link) I realized that while the plants have white bug bodies (aphids leave white bodies when they transform to the adult form) they are not yellow or green in color. These guys are white, and tiny. They fly in swarms if the plant is shaken. The photographs don’t really do it justice, but if you look hard enough there are thousands of tiny white bugs all over the tomato leaves.

 

 

 

They are doing some damage to the plants because the leaves are starting to shrivel and die. The bugs are definitely whiteflies because there are so many and the way that they are killing the tomato plants by sucking out the juices.  These plants have a lot of green tomatoes on them so I’m hoping to save the plants before these bugs kill the plants.

I did a quick Google search to see  what I could do to get rid of the little buggers. I don’t really want to use pesticides if it can be helped. This is mainly because of Deacon and I’d rather not have to worry about that at all. One website mentions several home remedies including soapy water (which primarily affects aphids – I thought that’s what they were at first so I used this remedy originally). I sprayed the plants thoroughly with soapy water for a couple days in a row, but quickly realized I was battling the wrong bug.While the soapy water did disturb the guys, it did not get rid of them.

Many sites recommend using an insecticidal soap and Amazon sells a concentrate by Safer that is safe for garden plants, humans, and animals. I bought some as well as a sprayer and should be able to start treating in a couple of days. I really hope it works! I’m worried for my tomato plants. If it does, then I also know what to look for in the future with additional gardens. Wish me luck!

Online Resources
Aphids:
http://www.almanac.com/content/aphids

Whiteflies:
http://www.almanac.com/content/whiteflies
Tomato Pests:
http://www.planetnatural.com/tomato-gardening-guru/pests-disease/

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