How to Get Rid of White Fruit Flies – Complete Guide

As a pretty prevalent pest, the whitefly is especially detrimental to plants. White fruit flies expand quite quickly and can cause severe infestations. Their elimination isn’t the easiest job, so it’s critical to notice early signs of infestation to treat it well and keep it under control. No need to panic—it’s possible to eliminate white fruit fly problem or get rid of fruit flies from your garden or greenhouse. Here are some tips for identifying, controlling, and rid of fruit flies and how to get rid of white fruit flies!

How to Get Rid of White Fruit Flies – What are They?

They are soft-bodied insects very similar to mealybugs drain flies and aphids. Oddly enough, “whiteflies” are not a type of fly, though they have wings and can fly.

They can be as tiny as 1/12 of an inch and have an almost triangular shape. Found on the undersides of leaves, they are highly active during the day and quickly scatter when disrupted.

There are many white, fruit flies tend to fly species. Most adult fruit flies affect just a few host plants, while a few affect a wider range of plants. These include:

  • Giant whitefly
  • Greenhouse whitefly
  • Silverleaf whitefly
  • Banded-winged whitefly

How to Get Rid of White Fruit Flies – Where are They Found?

Since they can’t survive in cold climates, you can spot whiteflies in winter among greenhouse environments ripe fruit or indoor plants. They’re mostly seen in mid-to-late summer when the weather is warm and humid.

They could also become seasonal outdoor garden pests if they’re brought from an infested greenhouse. It’s best to inspect any plants before taking them home!

In warmer regions, they can live through winter and reproduce outdoors all year long, so they can be a major nuisance for both outdoor and indoor plants.

How to Spot a Whitefly

Here’s how you can spot those creepy, pale pests where they’re hiding:

Ficus Whitefly

The Ficus whitefly is around 0.06 inches and has dark, red eyes and white wings with a grayish band. It lays yellowish eggs on the bottom sides of leaves.

Ficus plants and Rhododendron are its main targets. In its early stages, it flies and can be spotted both on the top and bottom sides of leaves, unlike other whiteflies.

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly

The Rugose spiraling whitefly is almost 0.09 inches and is typically bigger and slower to move than other white flies. It has faint brown bands on its wings, and it lays wax-covered eggs in a spiral on the bottom side of leaves.

How to Get Rid of White Fruit Flies – Common Causes of Infestation

Whiteflies thrive in warmer temperatures, like greenhouses or home yards. They can be spotted underneath leaves; they attach their nymphs to the plants and feed off them.

If you bring ripe tomatoes with black bugs flying on them home, the fruit fly infestation can expand in a blink, so beware! Here are some common causes of whitefly infestations rotten fruit, for you to take note of:

1. Overuse of Insecticides

This must be a surprise, but insecticides can do more harm than good when it comes to whitefly issues. Many insecticides don’t target fruit flies love but specific types of insects, kill fruit flies, so overusing them can banish the beneficial, predatory bugs.

Spiders, ladybug beetles drain flies, and parasitic wasps are natural enemies of whiteflies and can easily finish them off. Unfortunately, insecticides kill these off, even white vinegar, so they’re very harmful to any garden’s health.

2. Drought

Water stress makes plants more susceptible to a whitefly infestation. Whiteflies quickly reproduce in hot, dry summers, as well as anywhere with unwatered plants and warm climates.

That said, drought stress can help whiteflies pervade. Pests that pierce or suck need hot water dry weather, which makes whiteflies flourish during a drought.

3. Birds

While a ‘good morning’ from a cute bird is sometimes all you need, some birds are just not your friends. Birds like swallows and swifts can make a meal out of ladybug beetles, which are whiteflies’ natural enemies.

Are White Flies Dangerous?

Thankfully, whiteflies don’t directly harm humans; their direct damage is solely exclusive to plants. While they’re similar to mosquitos, their piercing mouthparts are just used to suck plants’ juices.

When whiteflies suck their fluids, plants can yellow and drop too early or completely die off. Besides, whitefly adults can transmit viruses from unhealthy plants to healthy ones.

They also excrete honeydew—a sweet, sticky liquid that coats leaves. The leaves are then colonized by sooty mold, a fungus that gives leaves a black, dirty look. If abundant, sooty mold can prevent the light from reaching the leaves and cause plant stress.

How to Get Rid of White Fruit Fly Infestation

Now, here is the fun part! While they’re not the easiest pest to eliminate, here are some of the best options for treating whitefly infestations using guaranteed techniques:

1. Water

No products found.

Blast your plants with water. A few drops of generous, hard spray will knock off the whiteflies happily thriving in your garden. They won’t be able to get enough food to move afterward and will eventually starve and die.

2. Vacuum

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You can use a handheld vacuum to swallow those annoying flying pests deep clean it all up! Be careful not to damage the plants, and make sure to get rid of eggs, larvae, and the tiny whiteflies themselves!

3. Insecticidal Soap

Safer 5118-6 Insect Killing Soap Concentrate - Insecticidal Soap for Plants - Kills Aphids, Whiteflies, Thrips, Spider Mites, and More - OMRI Listed for Organic Use
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Safer 5118-6 Insect Killing Soap Concentrate - Insecticidal Soap for Plants - Kills Aphids, Whiteflies, Thrips, Spider Mites, and More - OMRI Listed for Organic Use
  • Protect Plants from Insects - Kills a variety of soft-bodied insect pests, including aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, leafhopper, spider mites, and more
  • Gentle on Most Plants - Ideal for use on flowers, herbs vegetable, houseplants, lawn, tree, shrubs, and more
  • Kills On Contact - Potassium salts of fatty acids weaken insects' outer shell, dehydrating them and killing on contact

For heavy infestations of either adult flies, female fruit flies, or female fruit flies, some insecticidal soaps can be used to knock them down. Insecticidal soaps make a coating that makes it difficult for the pests to breathe, so they can also terminate adult whiteflies.

4. Horticultural Oil

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Horticultural oils can also help with whitefly infestations. We especially recommend neem oil. It can kill off all life stages of the whitefly.

5. DIY Fruit Fly Trap – Apple Cider Vinegar

A DIY fruit fly trap is a great way to attract and eliminate pesky fruit flies. All you need is a jar, plastic wrap, dish soap, and either a sweet fruit juice or overripe fruit. To make the trap, simply fill the jar with your chosen bait — sweet juices like apple cider work best — then cover it with a few layers of plastic wrap and puncture a few small holes in it.

Once you’ve done that, trash can add a teaspoon of dish soap to the jar and mix it into the juice or get rid of fruit flies. The mixture will attract the fruit flies, while the dish soap works to break down the surface tension on their bodies so they can no longer take off. You can also make a larger version of this fruit fly trap by using a wine bottle and puncturing tiny holes in the top with a needle. Place the bait inside red wine can, then screw on the lid.

DIY traps to prevent and kill fruit flies, fly traps are one of the most effective ways to eliminate these pesky insects from kitchen counters and other areas where they tend to congregate. They’re easy to make and can be reused for months without needing to be replaced.

Create an effective fruit fly trap with plastic wrap, dish soap, overripe fruit/juice, and a jar or old wine bottle with tiny holes. Place the bait inside and put the lid on. Secure it tightly with plastic wrap. Add a few drops of dish soap to reduce surface tension so that they can’t escape. Hang this DIY trap near the area with most fruit flies and enjoy a fly-free home. In no time, you’ll be free of buzzing fruit flies!

6. Yellow Traps

Trappify Sticky Gnat Traps for House Indoor - Yellow Fruit Fly Traps for Indoors/Outdoor Plant - Insect Catcher White Flies, Mosquitos, Fungus Gnat Trap, Flying Insects - Disposable Glue Trapper (25)
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You can use get rid of fruit flies or fly traps to attract fruit flies catch whiteflies. We recommend yellow sticky traps, as whiteflies are attracted to the yellow color—they think it’s a flower!

How to Get Rid of White Fruit Flies – Prevention

It’s also key to actively prevent whiteflies from invading your garden. Here’s how you can protect your plants from those tiny, creepy invaders:

1. Clean plant debris

Make sure to constantly clean and get rid of any plant debris or weeds.

2. Inspect new plants

Before bringing in any new plants from outside, inspect them very carefully. Pay attention to the bottom sides of leaves, where whiteflies mostly feed, live, and reproduce. Dispose of any affected plants.

How to Get Rid of White Fruit Flies – Takeaway

Despite looking like angels, white fruit flies can be very harmful to your plants and a bit tricky to eliminate from your yard or greenhouse—yet not impossible!

Make sure to have some hummingbirds, dragonflies, whitefly parasites, or ladybugs in your garden. These are natural whitefly predators that can quickly treat infestations.

We hope these tips help you prevent and treat whitefly infestations and their pesky mess wherever it pops up!

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