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Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

Posted by tn_veggie_gardner 6 (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 1, 09 at 11:26

I checked my two basil seedlings this morning & they had tons of holes in them & 4-5 of those little greyish white bugs that look like a piece of lint on them! First & most importantly, will they go after any of my other plants (maters, peppers, herbs & fruits)? If so, what will safely kill them all (pesticide...I have organic & Ortho H.D.)? Secondly, are they whiteflies? If not, what are they? Please help! Thanks - Steve

P.S. - I'll work on uploading crappy camera phone pic of them...lol.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

I had white flies flocking to my pole beans and they didn't seem to do much damage, but would quickly flee once I approached. Neem oil would be the best preventive. Its safe to use for most leaf herbs as I have mentioned numerous times in the past. Suggest that you do a SEARCH for the word 'NEEM' here and it will bring up nay instances of similar issues.


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

Yea...i'm aware of Neem Oil. My mentioned pesticide has it. Does my description sound like whiteflies or something else? Will they flock to any of my other plants?


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

Not sure. I did use some green/blue sticky traps set nearby the beans, but they didn't seem to be attracted to them very much. The traps were cardboard and had sticky stuff on both sides. I placed them at different levels near the beans. If you can show a photo, it may be aphids that you have, which are usually a light green color. If you see lots of ants near the bugs they may be collecting the aphid dew. If you use neem, be sure its not mixed it any petro chemicals. Safer makes a neem spray and it can be found at places like Lowe's and Home Depot. When spraying, be sure to also spray the undersides of leaves too.

Below is a link to Peaceful Valley and their organic products. It shows many traps and non spray products to control insects. I use different ones for my apple trees and also my cukes and brussels sprouts, and each trap can have specific scent lures.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peacful Valley organic solutions


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe??

Not sure. I did use some green/blue sticky traps set nearby the beans, but they didn't seem to be attracted to them very much. The traps were cardboard and had sticky stuff on both sides. I placed them at different levels near the beans. If you can show a photo, it may be aphids that you have, which are usually a light green color. If you see lots of ants near the bugs they may be collecting the aphid dew. If you use neem, be sure its not mixed it any petro chemicals. Safer makes a neem spray and it can be found at places like Lowe's and Home Depot. When spraying, be sure to also spray the undersides of leaves too.

Below is a link to Peaceful Valley and their organic products. It shows many traps and non spray products to control insects. I use different ones for my apple trees and also my cukes and brussels sprouts, and each trap can have specific scent lures.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peacful Valley organic solutions


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

I have a camera phone pic, but it's very fuzzy/blurry...does kind of show color...think it help u decipher bug type?


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

Might be good to get a cheap digital. A couple of years ago a cheap one was over $150. Today, digitals are a lot faster, higher megapixel and are far cheaper than they used to be. I own two types. A Nikon 7 megapixel with macro lens down to 1 inch, and a Kodak with a 10X zoom. Both give me really good photos and use the same kind of memory card. All my photos posted here are done with the Nikon. It cost me $165 but that was more than three years ago. You may want to visit a few web sites that have pictures that show things like aphids and white flies. There are many kinds of leaf chewing bugs, shot hole bugs, and even caterpillers. My peach plum tree gets chewed leaves every year, and its usually from the hatching of green cabbage worms that drop down on webs during the nights. After the leaves get peppered, the bugs are never seen and the damages don't seem to worsen. This year however, I am plagued with extreme cold wet weather, as the whole month of June has not given us more than 2 days of sun, or temps above 73 degrees. The whole garden is suffering and soggy. Next are the slugs that crawl at night and destroy plants and leaves too. I se out wasp traps. They are little pails with a liquid inside with small holes where wasps fly in, but can't get out. One trap had about 6 slugs inside and one big fat one was stuck to the lid. I had to use hot water to get them off. The trap also had many earwigs inside too, but not a single drowned wasp.


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

Whitefly and aphids do their damage by sucking the juices from plants. They don't make holes. Basil can be attacked by leaf eating critters such as caterpillars, Japanese beetles, and slugs. Slugs tend to make fairly large, but smooth-edged holes. Caterpillar holes tend to be more jagged than slug holes and Japanese beetles tend to make irregular, jagged holes. Try to figure out what you have before wasting time and money on the wrong chemical.

Caterpillars-Bt, a naturally occurring bacteria can be sprayed to kill them
Slugs-Organic Slug bait-traps are very satisfying to see carcasses but university studies a while back showed that traps-although they caught lots of the slimy things-did not significantly reduce the damage done to the strawberry field being studied.
Japanese Beetles-Pyrethrum will kill if it contacts the beetle and will provide a short period of protection-maybe a couple of days.
Wasps don't eat plants, at least not in my neck of the woods.

I have noticed that Japanese beetles seem to be more attracted to plants that have begun to flower. Keep your basil plants cut back hard to keep the leaves coming and the flowers at bay. Simply pinching out the flower buds will just produce two more flowers in their place.


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

ksrogers: Yea...if I could only afford one...lol. =) Here's the crappy quality pic. You can see the bugs on the stem & can kind of tell what color they are.

Photobucket


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

Sorry, not much help there. As was repeated, it may be a caterpiller or in my case here with huge holes in my brussles sprouts, its slugs. We just had another heavy rain, and it doesn't want to let up. I need to somehow get outside and put down a barrier of something to stop the slugs. I have big 50 pound bags of Surround, and slugs hate crossing that stuff.


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

They are those little bugs that look like a grey piece of lint when they land on your clothes, if that helps.


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

Sorry, but there's no way to ID this critter with that image, or from the description.

I can tell you for certain that you don't have whitefly, however. They look like teensy pure white moths as they flutter out from under the foliage.

Ants will hover around other insects besides aphids, by the way. Any honey-dew producing critters are fair game.


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

There are tiny fingus gnats, but they are black in color and anout 1/3 the size of a fruit fly. The gnats can reside indoors in houseplants and also infest the outdoor plants. The gnats are not damaging, but their larve the maggots destroy tender roots of plants. A piece of lint is very hard to relate to for a bug. Even for that once dandilions send out their seeds, they to are small tiny whitish things that float around. If you can borrow a decent camera to take a clear photo, it can help to better describe the bug. Spider mites and nymphs can do damage to leaves too


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

ksrogers: I think they're native. Anyone in TN knows of the "lint bug"...lol. I just don't know what their real name is & what makes them go away.


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

Simply spray the plants with neem. If they are damaging the foliage. If not, them them be, and wash the leaves before use. Doing a web search brought up belly button lint! The SAFER brand of neem works quite well, and is sold in most stores.


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

lol...I can't find Safer stuff worth a crap around here. GardenSafe Neem Oil-based stuff does me well though. I bought a beautiful Thai Basil plant today to replace those 2 seedlings. =)


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

Safer is just a brand. Many any place that sells the neem product can offer it from many makers. I even found a site that sells it by the gallon and they recommend adding some castile soap that they also sell to be used as an emulsifier. a gallon would last me more than 20 years!


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe??

I grew a mammoth leaf basil some years back. The plants were taller than 5 feet with leaves the size of dinner plates. Mild taste and more suseptable to leaf damages though. I had this type growing too. Nice for growing in pots

Here is a link that might be useful: Small basil


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

Wow...a gallon for 20 years. =) I love the way this Thai Basil looks. I potted it up to a 2 gallon container today.


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

tn gardener, since this 'lint-bug' is so common to your area, you should call your local extension office for some advice. Someone there should be well informed in local insects.

There are wooly psyllids, wooly aphids and scale and others. There are also beetles that glue debris on their backs; some caterpillars, too.

With as few plants as you have, and as small as they are, you can control just about any pest with your bare hands or a spray of plain water.


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

Good info, Rhizo...I bet it's one of those wooly things.


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

There's been a lot of 'wooly things' around this year, for some reason. I've been getting lots of phone calls and emails about them. Just which of the many possibilities is the culprit in each case varies.


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RE: Basil seedlings slaughtered by Whiteflies, maybe?

I doubt they are whitefly because basil is an herb used to deter whitefly. Whitefly are tiny "white flies". To identify damage, the undersides of the leaves will have a white substance and the plant/tree will be dropping leaves. If it's an outdoor plant, spider webs will be seen (they actually help).


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