trap plants for whiteflies

judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)August 12, 2013

I've been reading a book lately called "Gardening for Geeks" by Christy Wilhelmi. in it there was brief mention of using "trap plants", or plants that are so attractive to insects that they leave your crops alone and go after the trap plants. an example listed was nasturtium for aphids. are there any plants like this that would draw whiteflies away from my pepper plants? I'm a first year grower, and currently losing the battle. soap sprays keep them at bay, sort of. lacewings help, but they're not doing enough. I'd rather do things a better way, if there is a better way.

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The Whitefly is attracted to a wide variety of plants so there is not any one that would make a good trap crop. Because Whitefly is resistant to many pesticides control can be difficult. Perhaps the link below will be of some help.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Whiteflies

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 6:55AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

"I'm a first year grower..." It takes time to establish a natural balance of pest control. First, you have to have pests present for beneficials to show up. So battling them is actually counter-productive, in the grand scheme, although may help today/this year.

Chartreuse sweet potato might work for a trap, especially if struggling, maybe in a pot. Whiteflies LOVE that stuff, and struggling plants are usually the target of some type of pest attack. Whatever trap plants you might try, I'd put them in pots, and/or treat as poorly as possible w/o killing.

Also, try to avoid monocultures and rows. Don't put all of your tomato plants, for example, next to each other. If pests find one, they might not find the others. Even if you only have one general spot for gardening, alternate plant types if possible.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 10:32AM
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Trap plants are sorta like Japanese beetle traps. If you plant something particularly attractive to a pest species, you may invite them to that area of the garden when they normally might not have been. Even though they prefer on type of plant over the other, they are not that choosy they won't move on and infect other things.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:34AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Absolutely true. Judo asked about dealing with pests already present.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:52AM
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