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white fly

How to wipe out whitefly

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Fight whitefly with home-made sticky traps, writes HELEN MCKERRAL.


Whitefly are a nasty pest that attack a wide range of plants from tomatoes to beans. These sap suckers cause yellowing, leaf loss, wilting and stunting. They also exude honeydew that attracts ants and black sooty mould. Whitefly congregate on mass. One control approach is to hang sticky strips in your vegie patch and greenhouse or instantly eliminate clouds of whiteflies with a yellow sticky paddle! (Whiteflies are attracted to yellow.) Here’s how to do it.

What you need
  • Yellow plastic document folder (or recycled piece of yellow plastic)
  • Horticultural glue* and spatula
  • Scissors
  • String and hole punch and/or gaffer tape
  • Bamboo stakes

Step 1: Cut document folder into strips approximately 10cm x 20cm, or two A4-sized paddles plus strips.

Step 2: Punch holes into strips and attach string. Gaffer tape paddles to bamboo stakes.

Step 3: Spread glue – which whiteflies will stick to – onto strips or paddles.

Step 4: Hang strips in vegie patch. For heavy infestations, disturb foliage and swish paddle nearby to instantly reduce numbers, then place paddle in the ground for a long-lasting effect. When traps lose their stickiness, clean and apply fresh glue.

* Horticultural glue, available from garden centres, can be replaced with home-made glue of petroleum jelly and detergent at a ratio of 1:1. Home-made glue is cheaper but less effective.

Photo: Helen McKerral

For more advice on what to do in your summer garden pick up a copy of the January/February issue of Organic Garderner magazine available from newsagents, ABC Shop online and