My garden is absolutely covered with whiteflies. Any time I rustle anything, a cloud of them goes up. Even our established redbud trees are infested...tomatoes, cantaloupes, peppers, dahlias, 4-o'clocks...the undersides of ANY plants that still have "juice" in them (bad drought) What should I do? How can I spray the underside of the leaves of this ridiculous amount of plants? Systemic poison?? Ha. I want to be able to eat this food and I cannot have these things coming inside my house where my good houseplants are! I hate these things. Help!
Are you sure the fruit isn't compromised anyway? As many of those as you have, any fruit you have may be damaged anyway, examine closely then choose the kind of control you desire. In Texas the native Lantana is a draw for whiteflys, we plant it like sunflowers- AWAY from food plants for us.
I know you have more than tomatoes there but I will add my 2 cents -- When I was gorwing cherry maters on my balcony they became infested to the max, with whiteflies. So after nothing (organic) that I tried worked, in desperation I plucked off all the leaves, covered the plants with cheesecloth and was eventually able to harvest a bumper crop of beautiful cherry tomatoes.
Thanks. The odd thing is the tomato patch where the problem is overwhelming has NO tomatoes coming on. The plants are lush, mulched using the Ruth Stout method. But no tomatoes, so I'm thinking of trying the soap thing tomorrow. I already put out the yellow sticky traps and only caught gnats and blowflies...very few whiteflies, but now that I've looked at those eHow articles I think I've got some really good ideas! Excellent websites, moonhowl. I've had lantana in the past and wondered what the deal was...I threw them out. Pretty, but disgusting magnet!! I really appreciate all these answers.
Claywoman, You may not have tomatoes setting due to the heat of late. I am in zone 9a and we had tomatoes ripening on the plant in late May/ early June...by the end of June, when our temps were soaring above 95, production stopped and leaves started browning...not a single bloom.
On the recommendation of a farmer in my neighborhood, and since mine were in large pots, we moved them from full sun to dappled sunlight during the early afternoon. After a couple weeks, they started putting out new growth and blooms.