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How to Get Rid of Small Flies on House Plants

Flies can arrive seemingly overnight on your house plants, rising up in a swarm of tiny bodies when you brush against the plant or water the soil. Whiteflies commonly infest foliage plants, hiding under the leaves or along the stem. There are many different types of whiteflies, all of which are sucking insects and can severely damage a house plant, according to information published by the University of California. Monitor your house plant carefully for these destructive pests and take action immediately upon noticing their presence.

Remove the infested plant from other, nearby houseplants to isolate the whiteflies.

Examine the undersides of the leaves for severe infestations. Pluck off any leaves that are heavily covered with whiteflies.

Rinse the plant off, or use a syringe to squirt on individual whiteflies and small groups of the insects. Washing the plant once a week can help control infestations, according to information published by the Kearny Agricultural Center.

Vacuum the remaining whiteflies off the leaves. This can be very effective, according to information published by the University of California. Vacuum early in the morning, on a cool day. Whiteflies are less active when it is cool. Freeze the vacuum bag overnight to kill the bugs.

Spray the plant with an insecticide or wash it with an insecticidal soap. Be sure to target the whiteflies underneath the leaves.

Rid Of Little White Flies On Plants

The airy, white cloud that emerges from some ornamentals and warm-weather vegetable, when you brush by them may look enchanting, but the tiny white flies that form the cloud can do real damage to a plant. If left untreated, whiteflies can eventually kill a plant before moving on to the next victim in your garden. In addition to the presence of the insects at various stages of development, you may also see the damage the adults and nymphs inflict when they suck on a plant's leaves and stems. Remove any damaged or yellowed leaves before planting a new plant and sterilize the blades of your pruning shears before and after use with rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes to reduce the risk of spreading diseases or pests from one plant to another. Spray both the tops and undersides of the leaves. Natural predators that feed on whiteflies are an effective remedy for ridding your outdoor plants of the pests. Don't discourage spiders from setting up housekeeping in your garden, buy ladybugs to release or plant flowers with tubular shapes, such as daylilies (Hemerocallis spp., USDA zones 2 through 12), to attract hummingbirds. Make your own traps with 12- by 6-inch pieces of yellow plastic or heavy, yellow paper stock or cardboard spread with petroleum jelly, motor oil or dishwashing liquid. For use on dormant plants, mix 10 tablespoons of oil with a gallon of water. Horticultural oils are contact pesticides, so spray whiteflies directly if you see them, drenching the stems and both sides of the plant's leaves with the mixture.
* Apply insecticidal soaps as directed on their labels; some come in concentrated forms and others are ready to use.


Yellow sticky traps can trap and kill adult flying whiteflies, although they will not kill the ones hiding underneath the leaves. They are sold at most garden centers. Hang them near the plant, or place them on top of the soil.

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