This morning I got the vacuum cleaner out and vacuumed my parsley and beans.
Now before you go thinking I'm completely bonkers let me tell you I don't usually use the vacuum cleaner on the garden. In fact I don't even use the vacuum cleaner in the house as much as I should. But you see I have a problem with whitefly.
It started last year on my beans in the back corner. Over winter they all went quiet but with the warmer weather those teeny whiteflies are back in their swarms and taking over my veggie patches. If I run my hand over my parsley great swarms of them fly up to my face making me cough and splutter and get rather cranky. And apparently they're not harmless little pests - they're sucking the sap right out of my veggies and making them less vigorous. They can spread diseases from plant to plant. And they multiply like mad.
Oooh they're a problem.
So I turned to my favourite friend the google and discovered one of the remedies is to get out there early in the morning with one of those little vacuum cleaners and suck them up when they're all sleepy. So that's what I did. Except we don't have one of those little hand held vacuum cleaners only a normal one. And I didn't do it first thing in the morning because I have children to make lunches for and ensure they have clean underpants on and pets to feed and hair to wash... So it was morning, but not first thing. And those little whiteflies didn't look all that sleepy to me. I'm not sure how many I managed to suck up. And I'm not entirely sure this remedy will do any good at all. But I'm willing to give it a go for a week in the patch closest to my back door and the power outlet.
|You can't see them but there are masses of nasty little white fly under those parsley leaves|
I'm also going to get out the eco oil and and spray it on the underside of the leaves in that patch. It'll be my little experiment for the week to see if the numbers reduce there. And if I have success I'll be getting the extension cord out and vacuuming right up the back. Earlier in the morning - maybe before I've showered while still in my dressing gown. Gee I hope the neighbours don't wonder what I'm up to and peep through the fence.
Apparently lacewings and ladybirds and birds are natural predators. So I'm encouraging those in my own way - whenever I see a ladybird I get all excited and say "oh goodoo a ladybird. Come on eat up little ladybird".
The whiteflies are also attracted to the colour yellow so hanging sticky yellow traps above your plants might work - but I don't think that'd have much impact when they're in great swarms like I have. Neem oil also apparently works at the nymph stage.
Anyone else tried the vacuum cleaner trick or have other ideas? What's worked for you?