It's NOT scale... It's whitefly, and my fixes aren't working.

cfox248(3)June 18, 2014

Posted a bit ago about me wondering if this scale infestation is REALLY a scale infestation or not... and, as I found out today, it's not. It's whitefly. I came back after a weekend away to find the branches sticky again and covered in white puffyness - what I thought before was the cottonwood tufts sticking to the sticky branches. Did some googling, and was on the fence between Whitefly and Cottony Cushion scale.... I looked all over the tree and under one of the leaves found a single little snow white bug crawling away from me. A whitefly.

Very frustrating, since before I left the tree spent a day inside getting rubbed down with alcohol and neem. I will have to change my tactic, since it's obviously not working. A soap solution maybe, with Rosemary oil. Starting to see symptoms on my orange tree, too, so I'd better get cracking.

It's baffling to me, both trees are outside so I didn't figure it was an issue, I figured beneficial insects would take care of most problems. Everything I'm googling says outdoor trees shouldn't need chemical control. Of COURSE mine would be the exception.

If anybody has any miracle Whitefly cures, I'm all ears. Alcohol and neem are not working. I'm getting a lot of mixed messages with the search function - some say oil doesn't work, some say Neem is the best, etc etc.

On the plus side, my lemon is finally sending out new shoots... I really want to get them under control before they kill those off!

This post was edited by cfox248 on Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 14:19

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I also have quite a few whiteflies this year. There aren't enough yet to stress out my trees but I did a lot of research and didn't find anything that everyone agreed worked. Oddly enough, several people suggested supplimenting the soild with earthworm castings. Supposedly, something in the castings works as a natural systemic. I think I have plenty of earthworms so I am skeptical of that method. Neem oil and soap solution was another common remedy but several indicated that wasn't working very well for them. Everyone agrees you must treat the undersides of the leaves. Good luck and I'll be interested in what others have to contribute.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 2:26PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Your tree isn't an outside tree. It's an inside tree that vacations outdoors.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 4:10PM
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^^^very true.

regardless, it was after I put it outside it started the problem. Theoretically if the whiteflies can set that fast, the predatory bugs should come around too, but it's been a while and nothing yet. It's definitely not an "outside tree" but in the summer it is certainly a 'tree that is outside' and treated as an outdoor tree!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 4:22PM
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I think I got them!

I ordered horticultural oil, the "All Seasons" brand. I mixed 2 tablespoons into a quarter gallon spray bottle, shook it, and sprayed the everloving heck out of that tree, making sure to get the undersides of the leaves and the petioles and the branch junctions. I didn't spray the oil off, I let it sit till the next day, and sprayed it down yet again. The leaves were really slippery and oily (I kept it out of the sun for this) and I didn't spray it off the second time either. After the first time there was still tufts the next day, and after the second spray there was a stray one or two that I think were probably residual - but I sprayed a third time just to be sure. The day after the third spray there was no more sticky and no more fuzz, so I wiped the oil off with a wet sponge with a drop of dawn on it and wiped down the branches, etc. The shoots that just started were unharmed by all of this and are doing very well. The leaves were a little bit droopy from having oil coating them got a few days, but it's significantly perked up. Supposed to rain tonight, that'll wash off what's left.

So far, no tufts, no fuzz, no sticky. These next few days will be the tellers. I looked over my orange tree, which was showing the fuzzy signs of them, but it looks like they have abandon their try and the orange tree is as healthy as ever, save for some mild chlorosis from the constant rain and too much water (it is under shelter now). Still no new shoots from that orange tree, though.... I'm wondering about that. hmm.

So, if anyone else is having problems with them, while alcohol and neem didn't work for me, horticultural oil seems to have worked out great!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 5:33PM
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