White Gnats

Saint Augustine, FL

Help, my veggie garden seems to have been invaded by small, tiny white gnats. Pesticides did nothing and I'm trying some soapy water and that is helping... but they keep coming back. I'm afraid they are killing some of my smaller starter plants. I've never had this problem before. Any suggestions? I'm in Florida and just started my fall garden a few weeks ago.

Saint Augustine, FL

Here is a photo of the gnat - closest I could get.

Thumbnail by ingridg
Plantersville, TX(Zone 9a)

Those look like the ones that attacked my brocolli last year. Are they called spider mites?

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Those aren't spider mites. Mites don't fly. Could they be white flies?

Saint Augustine, FL

Yes, 1lisac, I emailed the guy from the local horticultural center (he answers questions in the paper) and he said that they were white flies. Went and found an oil based spray - sprayed yesterday and it helped a lot. But he says you have to be consistent to get them all. They suck on the tender new growth of a plant. There were tons of them, less today, but I will spray again tomorrow. He said soapy water works, but that you have to hit the fly to kill them, so it's hard to get them all. The oil is supposed to keep them leaving more eggs and suffocate the live flies. They are killing my baby bok choi and brussel sprouts - I hope this works.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Good luck. Don't spray anything oil based in the heat of the day, or you will have stir-fry before it ever leaves the garden.

Vacaville, CA

White flies are nasty and a PITA to get rid of! The only real way to get rid of them is a deep freeze for a few days. My neighbors bushes were really infested with them and started to move into my garden. I had to get the county pest control man involved, they finally just leveled the bushes and hauled them to the dump. Check other bushes and plants for them and find where they are comming from. If anything has this white silky looking stuff comming off them and the flies sitting on the bottom of the leaf, you've got a problem. If you spray, they will just fly off and hang somewhere else till the dust clears and then come back. Just pray for some hard cold weather!

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