Q&As/Insects and Pests/Whitefly Infestations

Question

A few days ago, I went to get some mint from the garden and have never seen so many whiteflies! They are the size of a pin head and white and when there is movement, they all fly off then back again. There has always been a little on the mint, but never this amount. Is there any way to get rid of them... forever?!!

Answer

With the high temperatures and humidity experienced over the past few months, whitefly infestations will quickly multiply from being a minor irritation to a major nuisance in the garden.

Fortunately, it is a seasonal problem and the whiteflies will soon disappear once temperatures drop significantly.

In the meantime, spray the mint plant (particularly the undersides of the leaves), with your garden hose on fine mist but high pressure. This dislodges the white fly momentarily. If repeated two to three times a day over a number of days, the whitefly will often move to another garden and their eggs will be washed into the soil.

We do not recommend using an insecticide because mint is an edible plant that is used in the kitchen. However horticultural oil applied at the summer/evergreen rate can be used if the whiteflies are still persistent after the water blast treatment.

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