White flies, which are not actually a type of fly at all, resemble a tiny snowstorm when they settle on flowers or plants in a yard. Able to lay eggs and reproduce very quickly, white flies can cause massive crop damage and destroy entire lawns every year. While they are not harmful to pets or people, they can quickly undo a garden, field of crops, or careful landscaping job in a matter of weeks, or even less.
Homeowners who want to protect their lawn or garden have a few options when it comes to getting rid of white flies. There are home remedies as well as store-bought sprays and traps, which may work for small infestations. Larger infestations may require an exterminator due to the nature of the white fly life cycle: Eggs, larvae, and adult flies all need to be treated differently, which can be time consuming, expensive, and frustrating for a homeowner.
To remove a small infestation of white flies yourself, you can try a number of home remedies. Keep in mind that any home remedy may only work for adult white flies, larvae, or eggs: They rarely work for all three. Placing water mixed with Dawn or another dish soap on the ground in places can help you get rid of flies you see on the ground.
For a larger infestation, consider spraying your garden with a mix of garlic and dish soap. Place garlic and water in a jar, and allow it to sit outside for two weeks. Once it sits, mix it with a dish soap of your choice and spray your garden, plants, and soil. The smell will be unbearable for the flies. Keep in mind, that same smell may be too much for you, a loved one, or a pet, so try to avoid this method if you have a sensitive nose! You may also have to repeat this method as directed.
The most commonly sold method for white fly removal is an insecticidal soap. This method is derived from a fatty acid, so it won't harm your plant, but it will kill white flies and other types of bugs on contact. Be sure to read all directions prior to using this soap, as you want to be sure you, your family, and your pets are safe. Once you decide to use an insecticidal soap, you will spray your garden as needed to keep an infestation away. Be sure to read the inclosed packaging to make sure it is dealing with your entire problem and not just the visible adult white flies. Most infestations take between two to four sprays.
If you wish to avoid sprays, stores sell a number of traps, as well. These traps are only suggested for adult white flies and may require cleaning, setting, or baiting, which means maintenance for you. Be sure to carefully read the directions to decide whether or not this trap is for you.
If you try the above methods and find you still have white flies, or if you are worried about the time and expense required to keep your garden safe, you may want to consider a professional exterminator. They will be able to help you remove all stages of the white fly and prevent them from coming back. If you are interested in this service, consider requesting a free, local quote today.