If a cloud of whiteflies rises from the basil at the slightest touch, the terror is great. Immediate countermeasures are required to save the herbal plant from perishing. Read here how to get rid of the pests.
Knowledge increases the efficiency of the fight
Whiteflies are closely related to scale insects, from which they are clearly distinguished by their mealy-white wings. Actually, the filigree, 1-2 mm small insects are pretty to look at.
However, both the adult flies and their brood suck the life out of basil. At temperatures of 23-25 degrees Celsius (71-75F), they develop the highest infestation pressure.
Defense measures in the bed and on the balcony
Typical symptoms of an infestation are yellow speckles on the leaves. In addition, the adult specimens excrete honeydew, which causes black sooty mold. In order to put an end to the shameful activity, the use of systemic insecticides based on chemicals on basil is frowned upon. With these biological means you take action against the whiteflies:
- put up yellow adhesive boards behind glass
- Spread parasitic wasps or assassin bugs Macrolophus caliginosus in the greenhouse
- if there is a high risk of infestation, use biological sprays such as Celaflor pest-free neem
- Work nebulae into the substrate
Close-meshed insect nets provide effective protection for basil in beds and pots. As soon as the temperatures rise above 20 degrees Celsius (68F), the nets should be spread out. In this way, the winged females do not find access to the plant.
In addition, defensive plant partners have proven themselves, such as tagetes and nasturtium. Ecologically oriented hobby gardeners also advocate regularly showering the bed soil with a decoction of oak leaves.
Weakened basil is more vulnerable
The more vital a plant, the more resistant it is to diseases and pests of all kinds. Your basil is less at the mercy of whiteflies if the water and nutrient supply are right. Water the herbal plant regularly as soon as the substrate has dried.
As a heavy feeder, basil requires a weekly dose of compost or a similar organic fertilizer from May to September.
Do you know the most natural form of fly traps, without any chemicals? With carnivorous plants, also called carnivores, you can add a resolute trap to a basil on the windowsill.
Butterwort or the Venus flytrap don’t give the fluttering pests a chance.