Every keen gardener knows the eternal struggle of defending their plants from insects. Outdoor pests can deface flowerbeds, decimate vegetable patches and make all your efforts to cultivate the perfect garden completely futile. Among the worst offenders are whitefly, a tiny moth-like bug that feeds on plant sap. Their effects on plants are often devastating, and their rapid reproduction rate makes them very difficult to control once an infestation takes hold.
Waging war on whitefly can, therefore, feel like a never-ending battle! Fortunately, there are several highly effective insecticides on the market to help you tackle whitefly infestations year after year. Read on for the best whitefly pesticides on the market, and how to use them to effectively defend your flowers from these and other garden pests.
General Hydroponics AzaMax Whitefly Insecticide
The General Hydroponics AzaMax Whitefly Insecticide is a natural product that can effectively control a wide range of garden pests. Not only does AzaMax repel whitefly it is also effective against spider mites, gnats, aphids, nematodes, leaf miners, beetles, thrips and mealy bugs. The active ingredient in this spray is azadirachtin, an extract of the neem plant and a highly effective biopesticide. This natural insecticide has very low toxicity in humans, making it one of the safest products you can use on your plants. In fact, AzaMax claims that all of its ingredients are food-grade, making this insecticide entirely safe for household use; even in those with children and pets.
The Azamax whitefly insecticide comes with easy-to-follow instructions. Simply dilute the product with water, put it in a spray bottle and get to work defending your plants! Use it as a foliar spray to tackle insects like whitefly and aphids, or as a soil drench to take down nematodes and other ground-dwelling bugs. This spray should be used every few weeks to effectively kill successive generations of pests.
The Azamax spray may be effective, but it comes with a price tag that may put some people off. If you have a larger garden, flowerbed or vegetable patch the treat, the cost of using this pricey insecticide can really start to add up as the summer season progresses. It can also be very time-consuming to have to re-apply the spray every few weeks! Another issue with this product is its dubious ‘all-natural’ content. Although the label of this product claims that the ingredients are completely botanical, it has a strong chemical smell that would suggest otherwise.
- Effectively controls a wide range of garden pests
- Completely non-toxic – uses food-grade formulation ingredients
- Safe for home use
- Easy to use
- Expensive to use on large gardens
- Chemical odor – may not be 100% natural
Ortho Flower, Fruit, and Vegetable Insect Killer Concentrate
Ortho Insect Killer is a highly effective method of garden pest control. This insecticidal spray works to eliminate over 100 species of bugs including whitefly, caterpillars, beetles, thrips, scale, aphids and more. It can be safely applied to blooms, fruits, shrubs, and vegetables without having any adverse effects on the plants, so it’s suitable for use everywhere and anywhere it may be needed.
This concentrated product must be diluted with water prior to use. This can be done easily at home with the help of the included instructions but does require that you have your own spray bottle to hand. Once you’ve mixed your solution, however, you’re ready to go! Simply spritz any plants suffering from insect infestation and wait for it to work. One big advantage of the Ortho Insect Killer is that it remains effective for up to 4 weeks, so there’s no need for constant re-treatment.
The Ortho Insect Killer contains acetamiprid as its active ingredient, a chemical insecticide that is highly effective against whitefly. Despite its efficacy in the control of garden pests, it may not be the ideal choice for use in your garden due to its potentially toxic effects on bees. These important pollinators are a highly beneficial species to have in your garden, and the Ortho Insect Killer may put them at risk. Acetamiprid has limited toxicity in humans, however, so it’s fairly safe for domestic use.
- Effectively kills over 100 types of insect pest
- Can protect plants for up to 4 weeks
- Won’t harm flowers, fruits or veggies
- Easy to use
- May harm honey bees
- Mildly toxic to humans – possible not safe for use in households with children
Adonis 2F Whitefly Pesticide Concentrate
The Adonis Pesticide Concentrate is a highly convenient, super-effective method of whitefly control. This formulation contains imidacloprid, a systemic insecticide that only needs to be applied once for year-round protection against a wide range of garden pests. When used as a soil drench it will be taken up and distributed throughout the stems, shoots, and leaves of the plant within a matter of weeks. Once inside the plant, it will kill any pest that nibbles on it! The Adonis Concentrate also kills on contact, so it can be applied as a foliar spray; however, this is not recommended as it may kill bees and other beneficial insect species, such as ladybugs.
Although the active ingredient in the Adonis pesticide is highly toxic to whitefly, it has low toxicity in mammals. This means it is fairly safe for domestic use, though it should still be used with caution.
Aside from whitefly, the Adonis insecticide can also protect your flowers, shrubs, and trees from a wide range of other common pests. It effectively kills mealybugs, scale, thrips, beetles, mole crickets, ants, termites, weevils, aphids, chinch bugs, white grubs and much more! Check out the easy-to-follow directions on the bottle label to find out what dilution ratio you need to use. Once you’ve mixed the product with water, you’ll find that a little goes a long way. The Adonis pesticide is, therefore, a highly cost-effective way of protecting your garden from whitefly, even if you have a large plot of land to treat.
The best thing about the Adonis pesticide is that it only needs to be applied once a year for lasting protection. However, due to its mode of action, it will not work immediately. It must be taken up by the plant from the surrounding soil to work, a process that can take weeks or even a month.
It is also unsuitable for use on edible plants so, if you want to treat fruit trees or veggies, you will need to look for a non-chemical alternative.
- Effectively controls a wide range of garden pests (especially whitefly)
- Easy to use
- Long-lasting treatment – only needs to be applied once a year
- No residual odor
- Cannot be used on edible crops e.g vegetables or fruit trees
- Takes weeks or months to work if applied as a soil drench
- Can be toxic to humans and pets if inhaled – must be used with caution
OTHER PRODUCTS TO CONSIDER
Like the Adonis insecticide, the Criterion 75 WSP Insecticide contains imidacloprid. This systemic insecticide is a very effective whitefly killer and will provide your plants with lasting protection. However, the Criterion product is sold as a wettable powder, rather than a liquid solution. This makes it trickier to mix and increases the risk of contact with eyes, skin, and inhalation, which can present a serious health hazard.
The Bonide Whitefly Systemic Insecticide contains acephate as its active ingredient, a general insecticide that works well to eliminate whitefly and many other species of garden pest. However, this chemical has a very strong, sulfurous odor that many people find unbearable, and which may take a long time to dissipate!
The Hi-Yield Bug Blaster Insecticide can be used to effectively exterminate whitefly, as well as a wide range of other pest species. Unfortunately, the active ingredient in this product (bifenthrin) is also highly toxic to mammals, birds, aquatic species and bees. It is, therefore, unwise to use this in your garden, especially if you have pets.
WHITEFLY INSECTICIDE BASICS
What is whitefly insecticide?
Whitefly insecticides are products formulated to effectively kill whitefly (along with a wide range of other common garden pests). The active ingredient in whitefly pesticides varies from product to product and may be natural or chemical. Some can be applied as a foliar spray, while others are used as a soil drench. How often you need to use a whitefly insecticide and what types of plant it is suitable for will depend on the active ingredient and the application method.
When should you buy a whitefly insecticide?
Whiteflies are a common garden pest that is often found invading greenhouses, flowerbeds, veggie patches, and fruit trees. Their effects on plants are often devastating, but how can you be sure it’s them and not some other species of garden pest? If you suspect you have whitefly, look out for:
- Live flies. These are small, white and moth-like in appearance. They can be most easily spotted when they take flight, as they will take off in a cloud when an infested plant is disturbed.
- A sticky, yellow residue. This is honeydew; a shiny, sticky deposit that whitefly secretes in large quantities. This gathers on the surrounding foliage, where it causes a dark, sooty mold to develop.
- Yellowing disfigured leaves. Damage to leaves is caused by whitefly as they feed on the plant.
Once you’ve discovered whitefly on your plants, you should act immediately! These insects have a very fast reproduction rate and are notoriously tricky to get rid of. Start using a whitefly control insecticide straight away to prevent a large infestation from taking hold.
Who buys whitefly insecticides?
Whiteflies are prolific pests and are commonly found invading ornamental plants, greenhouses, fruit trees, vegetable patches, and flower beds. They are, therefore, a problem for every type of gardener! The best whitefly pesticides are easy to mix and use at home and have low toxicity in humans and other non-target species.
People with vegetable patches
If you need to treat your veggies, herbs or fruit trees, it is best to use a non-chemical whitefly insecticide. Formulations containing neem oil are highly effective when applied as a foliar spray, and will not harm the edibility of your plants.
People with large gardens
If you aren’t planning to eat what’s in your garden, you can afford to declare full chemical warfare on your whiteflies. Formulations that contain a systemic insecticide, such as imidacloprid, only need to be applied once a year and are a highly effective way to defend your plants from whitefly. This is also a great option for people with large gardens, as it saves you the hassle of heading out with a spray bottle every few weeks to tackle successive generations of whitefly.
How does whitefly insecticide work?
Whitefly insecticide works by killing whitefly, larvae, and eggs. It can be applied either as a foliar spray or as a soil drench, depending on what the active ingredient is. There is a wide range of whitefly pesticides available for domestic use, but which should you choose? Check out the active ingredient (which should be listed clearly on the label) to decide which is best for you.
Common active ingredients used in whitefly pesticides
- Whitefly chemical control products: systemic insecticides: A systemic insecticide is a chemical that is absorbed by the plant and distributed throughout the plant tissues. This effectively kills any insect that feeds on them. Unlike traditional pesticides, these cannot be washed off or removed by peeling the fruits/vegetables of that plant. They are, therefore, unsuitable for use on edible plants, and are best used for treating ornamental flowers, shrubs, and trees.
- Imidacloprid: Imidacloprid is one of the most effective systemic insecticides against whitefly. When applied as a soil drench, it can drastically reduce numbers of the insects and their larvae within a matter of weeks. It also provides lasting protection to your plants, and need only be applied once to keep these bugs at bay for a full year. It also has low levels of toxicity in mammalian species, making it relatively safe to use around your home. However, it should not be used as a foliar spray, as this insecticide can have negative impacts on honeybees and natural predators, such as ladybugs. You should also avoid using it on flowering plants, or plants that are close to flowering, for the same reason.
- Acephate: Acephate can be used either as a systemic insecticide or applied as a foliar spray to effectively reduce whitefly numbers in your garden. However, as with imidacloprid, it is known to have negative effects on honeybees and other beneficial insect species when used as a spray. Unfortunately, this chemical also has a powerful odor and can give your garden a lingering smell of rotting eggs or cabbage. It is, therefore, not very popular for domestic use. It is also
- Diafenthiuron: Diafenthiuron is a relatively new insecticide that has been found to be highly effective for controlling whitefly. However, as with most other types of systemic pesticide, diafenthiuron is highly toxic to bees and should not be used as a foliar spray. It is also highly toxic to aquatic species and should not be used if there is any chance of it leaching into streams or ponds on or near your property.
Whitefly natural control products
If you need a whitefly insecticide but don’t want to use potentially harmful chemicals in your garden, products containing neem oil and extracts can be the perfect solution. These can be applied as a foliar spray to any plant in your garden. It must be eaten by insects for it to be effective and, as such, is completely non-toxic to bees and beneficial predators (such as bees and spiders). It’s also completely safe to use on edible plants, so it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a way to protect your fruits and veggies from whitefly. Neem products are a fantastic, eco-friendly alternative to chemical insecticides; however, they are slightly less effective and may not completely eradicate a large whitefly infestation. They must also be periodically re-applied to plants, which can be time-consuming if you have a large garden.
Use a whitefly insecticide instead of…
Whitefly insecticides can be an effective alternative to:
- Vacuuming: One way to remove whitefly from your plants is to use a small, hand-held vacuum cleaner. Simply suck the bugs straight off your plants to physically remove them! Although this method is completely natural and may be effective if you have a very small whitefly problem, it is unlikely to control a large infestation.
- Introducing a natural predator: Another organic method of removing whitefly from your plants is to unleash an army of natural predators. Ladybugs will attack and kill whitefly, so introducing them to your garden can help to control them. However, this is unlikely to completely eradicate the problem, and you may have trouble getting your hands on enough ladybugs – you’ll need a lot of them!
- Sticky pads: Sticky yellow pads can trap and kill whitefly. Placing these glue traps near infested plants can help to reduce whitefly numbers if you have a large population, but is unlikely to completely eradicate them. This is, however, an effective monitoring method.
- Reflective mulch: Reflective plastic mulches can help to reduce whitefly populations by making it harder for them to locate your plants. This can prevent them from laying eggs and stop infestations from taking hold. Unfortunately, if you already have whitefly, it won’t do anything to kill the existing population.
WHITEFLY INSECTICIDE BUYING GUIDE
When choosing a whitefly insecticide, several factors can affect which option is best for you.
If you have a large garden…
If you have a lot of plants around your property, foliar sprays can be a time-consuming way of treating whitefly. Instead, opt for a systemic insecticide, such as the Adonis Pesticide Concentrate. This only needs to be applied once for annual protection and can be a big time saver for those with large gardens.
If you have a large whitefly infestation…
Imidacloprid is a highly effective whitefly killer and can be used to take down large infestations of the insects. Find an insecticide with imidacloprid as the active ingredient if you want to annihilate your whitefly as quickly and effectively as possible.
If you want to avoid using chemicals/you want to treat edible plants…
If you are concerned about the idea of introducing chemical insecticides to your garden’s ecosystem, products containing neem extracts are the way to go. Pesticides such as the Azamax Whitefly Insecticide are an eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemicals and are less likely to harm honeybees or other beneficial insect species. They are also more suitable for use on edible plants, such as vegetables and fruit trees.
TOP TIPS FOR EXPERT USE
- Spray frequently: If you are using a foliar spray to tackle whitefly, make sure you use it regularly and diligently. Whiteflies reproduce very quickly, and repeated application is essential to take down successive generations of these insects.
- Employ preventative methods: Consider using a reflective, plastic mulch around the base of infested plants during treatment. This will help to prevent more whitefly from moving in, allowing you to tackle infestations more quickly.
- Monitor whitefly populations throughout treatment: Careful monitoring of your whitefly population is the best way to determine if your treatment is working effectively. Yellow sticky pads can be placed near infested plants to trap and kill whitefly living on them and can give you an idea of how many bugs are living nearby.
Whiteflies are one of the most common garden pests and are notoriously tricky to get rid of. These tiny, moth-like insects can infiltrate greenhouses, flower beds, and trees, where they cause enormous damage to a variety of plants. Whether nibbling through leaves to feed on plant sap or spreading honeydew, a sticky residue that encourages the growth of mold, these bugs can decimate a carefully cultivated garden in no time!
Getting rid of your whitefly as soon as you spot them is essential, but choosing the best whitefly killer for you will depend on a variety of different factors. Systemic chemical pesticides are a great, one-use treatment for effective, lasting protection. If you have edible plants, however, a non-chemical alternative containing neem extract is a much better solution.