I am growing an assortment of vegetables as well as tomatoes in pots on my screened in porch here in Florida. My tomatoes, although protected from the larger menaces due to the screen, have fallen victim to these very small white flying pests. Due to their size they are very difficult to describe other than the fact that they are extremely small, bright white and seem to live inside the flowers on the tomato plants. When I touch the Q-tip to the flower about four or five of these small flying insects come flying out. Is there anything you recommend for me to get rid of these nuisances, and will these little rascals prevent the plant from producing tomatoes? I have been using a Q-tip to cross pollinate. Out of the 12 plants I have only 2 tomatoes. Thank you,
It sounds like you have whiteflies. They can become a real infestation. They like shelter, preferring to stay out of the wind. Usually you can rid the plants of the buggers by a brisk spray of water from the hose. Strike quickly before you have a real problem. They should not prevent pollination which is more dependant upon warm nightime temperatures.
Great!! Thank you for the advice. I will give that a shot.
I hate to bother you with more questions, but I have seen a couple articles on the internet about using a mixture of Canola oil and water to keep the bugs off the plants. Is this a good idea for me to try, or will it harm my plants. Ground clove was recommended as well. Thanks again!!!
I’ve not tried the canola oil and water, but have heard it works. Sometimes I put a drop of mild dishsoap in water and spritz out of a bottle. This is good for aphids and all sucking insects including whiteflies. The soap helps to drown them. The canola oil probably does the same thing. Be careful not to use too much soap or oil as it might damage the plants worse than the insects. Also, try not to spray the plants in the hot sun which might cause burning of the tender shoots, and also in the evening which might encourage mildew. Morning is best. Ground cloves would get expensive and would not help with the sucking insects. Might be an ant deterrent