Today, every second gardener on the site has a greenhouse, which allows you to get an earlier harvest of vegetables and protect plants from the changing weather conditions of the open ground. However, the warm and humid greenhouse microclimate is to the liking of not only plants. Such comfortable conditions are very attractive for the whitefly, which in a short time can ruin the entire crop.
Description of pest
An adult whitefly (Aleyrodidae) resembles a miniature snow-white moth – the length of its body does not exceed 2 mm. But this gentle, at first glance, creation can be compared with a powerful pump, so actively the insect sucks the juice from the leaves of plants (cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage and many other crops). They are suspended in development, refuse to bloom normally and bear fruit and with the dominance of the pest often die.
The whitefly in the greenhouse feels great. Windless warm microclimate (this heat-loving insect dies when the temperature drops below +10°C), high humidity and an abundance of juicy foliage contribute to its active reproduction. One female lays up to 130 eggs in her 30-day life, which she spends on the relentless absorption of plant juice. In 20-40 days after the larvae stage, ready for battle a new army of butterflies.
Larvae, as well as “mothers”, feed on the juice of plants and are almost indistinguishable to the naked eye – the length of their body is only 0.3-0.9 mm. Adds inconvenience in recognizing this tiny enemy and his secretive way of life – insects usually huddle on the inner surface of the leaf plates.
The first signs of the pest invasion are: the slow pace of plant development, their oppressed appearance, brittle shoots, as well as yellow spots on deformed leaves. A distinctive feature of the activity of the whitefly is sticky plaque on the leaves of vegetables, which in turn becomes a favorable environment for the reproduction of spores of fungal diseases.
If you find your greenhouse such become sad and “sticky” plants, and in their shake – a flock of small white moths, timidly flown to the nearby bushes, immediately proceed to the defense. Delay in this case can lead to the most deplorable consequences. The tiny “pumps” in the short term will thrive to enormous quantities and will ruin your entire crop.
Gardeners who do not want to “poison” plants with chemicals, prefer to fight whitefly manually. To this end, they first shoot down the adult butterflies with a stream of water from the plants, and then, armed with a soap solution and a sponge, wash off the leaves (primarily from their inner side) larvae, eggs and sticky plaque left by insects. The soap solution is prepared from 100 g of shavings of tar soap and 600 ml of warm water.
If you have free time, and most importantly, the desire to quickly help their green Pets, feel free to start this painstaking occupation – this method really works.
The whitefly can survive in a short time from the greenhouse, if you settle to it as a neighbor Encarsia Formosa – parasitic rider, whose females lay eggs in the larvae of the pest, which leads to their rapid death. This natural method of combating whitefly is widespread in farms and is quite available for ordinary gardeners – test tubes and cardboard packaging with Encarsia Formosa can be purchased in specialized stores or ordered via the Internet.
For each 1 m² of the greenhouse, you will need only one rider-a newcomer, who quickly recognizes and destroys the enemy. When the whiteflies will be completely wiped out, the parasites, deprived of food, will die, too.
Some savvy gardeners rid the greenhouse of whitefly with fumigators designed to fight mosquitoes and flies. To do this, an extension cord is stretched to the room and a fumigator with a repellent liquid or a plate is attached to the outlet.
The device is left in the active state, after closing all the Windows and tightly shutting the door of the greenhouse. A few hours later the pests are killed. However, in an unequal battle with the “fragrant” fumigator fold their heads and many other insects, including useful.
Significantly reduce the number of pests can be using glue traps. Preference should be given to yellow traps – moths attracts this color. Such devices can be bought in a gardening shop or made independently.
To do this, take pieces of plywood (or other improvised material), cover them with yellow paint, and after drying, apply some adhesive to the surface – vaseline, grease, honey with rosin or glue from rodents. Above the greenhouse beds, U-shaped supports are built or cross bars are attached to the roof. To them on twine tie up traps, placing them at the level of the tops of plants.
The growth of the plants twine tighten up the purchase of the trap, after “filling in” is replaced by a new and independently produced periodically clean off the dead butterfly and renew the layer of adhesive. These devices can cope perfectly well with trapping of the pest, especially if the daily shake the plant and disturb the moths, causing them to fly off the bushes. The first thing they will do after the “alarm” — rush to the yellow color of the trap.
If the number of moths on glue traps “rolls over”, and they obviously do not cope with the task, it’s time to move on to heavy artillery – armed with a sprayer and a solution of insecticide.
Whatever insecticide you choose, when preparing the solution, strictly follow the instructions and do not forget that you will not have to work outdoors, but indoors, so take care of reliable personal protection means – work clothes, respirator, glasses, gloves, etc.
Chemical preparations quickly eliminate the planting of the pest, but are inappropriate during the fruiting of plants or shortly before it. In this case, comes to the aid of safe for plants and gardeners, but harmful to the whitefly infusion Achillea millefolium.
For its preparation collect grass in the flowering period, crushed and fill the bucket with a volume of 10 l in the quarter. The container is filled with water to the top and left in a warm place for 2-3 days. After that, the infusion is filtered and treated with plants 1-2 times a week.
Well-established in the fight against whitefly infusion of garlic, which due to its bactericidal properties also helps to prevent the development of fungal diseases in the bushes. To this end, 1 Cup of garlic cloves passed through the press is poured 10 liters of warm water and infused for two days. Filtered infusion abundantly moisten the outer and inner side of the leaves of plants from the sprayer, repeating the procedure every 4-5 days until the complete disappearance of insects.
If in the current season you had to fight with the whitefly in the greenhouse, in the autumn be sure to spend a number of preventive measures that minimize the risks of pest reproduction in the next year:
- collect and burn all plant residues and weeds left in the greenhouse after harvest;
- disinfect the room, paying special attention to the cracks and joints of the structure;
- before the onset of stable frost dig the soil on the bayonet shovel, and then do not level the surface;
- if possible, partially disassemble the frame of the greenhouse or at least leave the doors and Windows open for the winter – the frost will kill the pests left to winter in the soil.
Stable comfortable conditions of the greenhouse help the gardener to achieve a generous harvest of vegetables. However, protecting plants from weather disasters of the open ground, the owner of such a useful structure can face a new problem – the greenhouse can be chosen by the whitefly. But this pest is not as terrible as it is “painted” — time protective measures will help you to overcome this attack and maintain the health of cultivated plants. And if you have already had to deal with such a greenhouse enemy, be sure to share with us in the comments of your experience of dealing with this unwanted insect.