Houseplant Care Guide: How to Get Rid of Whiteflies

by Rhonda Gilliam 12/26/2021

Whiteflies are a common pest affecting both houseplants and outdoor gardens. Like many plant pests, whiteflies can damage and even kill your plants if left untreated. Luckily, there are several ways to treat whitefly infestations in your houseplants. Here are some of the most effective methods:

Vacuum

Whiteflies can be sucked up with a vacuum and disposed of outside the home. Use a handheld vacuum or hose attachment with very low suction strength so you don't harm the plants. Carefully vacuum both sides of leaves and the stems of the plant to get rid of whiteflies in a hurry.

Wash Away

Another efficient way of removing a whitefly infestation is by spraying plants with water. Take your houseplants outside and give them a thorough bath with the hose. Use enough water pressure to wash the insects away, but be careful not to harm any tender foliage.

Sticky Traps

Yellow sticky traps are useful for controlling many houseplant pests including whiteflies. Add these traps to your plants near the base of the plant to capture and kill adult whiteflies. Follow the label instructions for best usage advice.

Insecticidal Soap

Use either a store-bought insecticidal soap spray or make your own mixture at home. To create a DIY spray, mix plain dish soap or castile soap with water. Begin with a weak concentration of about one teaspoon per gallon to avoid making suds.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural insecticide and fungicide commonly used to treat and prevent plant pest infestations. It's major advantage is having a systemic effect, meaning it will keep working after the plant has absorbed some of the oil. Combining neem oil and insecticdal soap is a great way to treat your plants on an ongoing basis to prevent new whitefly growth.

Don't Bring Them Home

The best treatment for whiteflies is prevention. An extremely effective way to prevent a whitefly infestation is to carefully inspect every new plant before and after you bring it home. Many plant owners treat their new plants with insecticidal soap or neem oil right away, regardless of pest activity.

While it might take more than one method or round of treatment, these are the best ways to control and prevent whiteflies in your houseplants. Check your plants regularly and treat any symptoms right away to keep them as healthy as possible.

About the Author
Author

Rhonda Gilliam

  I have lived and worked in Farmington, MO for over 35 years. I love this area and I feel blessed to be able to help my clients find exactly what they are looking for. It's not a job when you love what you're doing!