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Chili Peppers - white flies - tropical country

Hi Everyone, I need help! I have a Birdseye chili plant that is amazing and is constantly fruiting. But I have a big problem with the white flies. They have infested this plant and I can't get rid of them. When I spray it with white fly poison or neem oil, the leaves that get sprayed wither and fall off, killing those branches. Same thing happens when I wipe the leaves down with neem oil on a rag. If I just spray the plant down with water it knocks the leaves off and doesn't get rid of the flies. I've tried yellow sticky traps. So I've harvested and propagated the seed from this plant and all the white flies are infesting those young plants too. I dont want to get rid of it but i have no idea how to get rid of the flies without killing the plant. Help please!!! (Btw I live in Singapore, which is equatorial and summer all year round.)
 

The_NorthEast_ChileMan

Extreme Member
BurnBaby said:
But I have a big problem with the white flies. They have infested this plant and I can't get rid of them. When I spray it with white fly poison or neem oil, the leaves that get sprayed wither and fall off, killing those branches. Same thing happens when I wipe the leaves down with neem oil on a rag. If I just spray the plant down with water it knocks the leaves off and doesn't get rid of the flies. I've tried yellow sticky traps. So I've harvested and propagated the seed from this plant and all the white flies are infesting those young plants too. I dont want to get rid of it but i have no idea how to get rid of the flies without killing the plant. Help please!!! (Btw I live in Singapore, which is equatorial and summer all year round.)
 
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Hello and welcome to the forum.  I live in Panama which also has a tropical climate and I grow a lot of chili's.  I also have issues occasionally with white fly's.  I usually don't experience them during the rainy season which I am in now.  Or, if I do experience them during the rainy season, they aren't as bad of a problem.  Its the rainy season now and yes, I am seeing white fly on my plants.  I do not have any good news to share with about this problem.  They are extremely difficult to control if not impossible.  I have some very large, older super-hot peppers that are infected with white fly.  Its a waste of time to spray for them.  I trim off the branches that are infested.  Its best to burn the branches.  But, trimming the branches doesn't really help much.  I am waiting to kill the plants so I can pick most of the peppers after they ripen.  In a week or two, I will euthanize the plants.  There isn't really any solution.  If I wait too long, white fly's will spread to the other plants.  Once they are in the other plants you need to euthanize them as well.  Inspect the plants  frequently.  Kill the plants that are infested.  Inspect your yard also.  White fly's can live in weeds if there is no other suitable host.  Keep all the weeds trimmed back if you see them swarming in the weeds.  I really have no advice other than this.  White fly's are a disaster.  Now, the good news is that you live in the tropics where chili's are quite easy to grow.  Make sure you save plenty of seed so you can replant later.  Generally, white fly's do not really like wet weather.  They like the dry season.  But, they can be seen year round in your climate.  Don't waste time on expensive cures.  I don't believe a satisfactory cure exists.  White fly's are part of the hobby depending on where you live.  We have to learn to live with them.  They are the worst I know.
 

The_NorthEast_ChileMan

Extreme Member
BurnBaby said:
Hi Everyone, I need help! I have a Birdseye chili plant that is amazing and is constantly fruiting. But I have a big problem with the white flies.
Glen_ said:
I don't believe a satisfactory cure exists.  White fly's are part of the hobby depending on where you live.  We have to learn to live with them.  They are the worst I know.
So After reading both your posts I did a little investigating on my own.. I did find one consistent theme...
 
solid7 said:
White flies have a complex life cycle.  You may kill the adults, but the juveniles are not killed by the same methods.  Just keep applying Neem.   You'll get them eventually.  But it will probably take you 2-3 weeks, minimum.
juanitos said:
pyrethrin will kill them, need consistent application over 2 weeks to disrupt the life cycle.
_
You need to interrupt the life cycle but only the adult is easy to kill with NEEM...
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Whitefly-Lifecycle.jpg
 
[SIZE=10.5pt]Thank you for the warm welcome everyone! I was afraid there wouldn't be a solution, and I don't have the heart to kill this plant as Its already 4 years and a surprise gift from a bird, but has been the most fruitful plant we have and puts out chilis all year long! Plus the white flies are everywhere so getting rid of this one plant wont fix the problem. We hand wiped all the flies off this weekend crushing the little bastards where we could and wiping with a neem oil rag.  my only hope is that this gets them off before it kills the leaves even though it is a ton of work!  A friend did say to try diluting the neem oil down even more so it doesn't chem burn the leaves.  I'll be trying that next.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt][/SIZE]
 
[SIZE=10.5pt]So I've noticed 4 different parts and I don't know which is which, 1st is a beginning of a white fungus almost like spray paint (eggs????), 2nd is the fluffy white fungus (4rd instar nimph????), which usually has a black hard(2nd instar nimph???) and flat speck that looks like a seed but the length and width of the flying white fly (the black specks are hard to get off) and then the 4th is the white  flies themselves (If you wipe them without disturbing the leaves, I've been able to crush the whole lot on the leaf before they realize and fly away.  

I'll try pyrethrin lightly on the soil to see if that works.

thanks for all the help. [/SIZE]
 
Good luck with fighting the white fly.  I have them on my oldest plants now.  We are in the rainy season here in Panama.  White fly's don't really like the rainy season.  The only thing I have been doing is pruning the infected area's.  Its not really helping but the affected plants are just absolutely loaded with peppers so I thought I would try and harvest as many peppers as possible before just cutting down the plants.  
 
There are chili's all over my yard.  I may be risking it.  
 
White fly's bring in virus and other diseases also.  They are a huge threat. 
 
My plan is to cut the plants down fairly soon.
 
If you come up with some sort of effective treatment please share it with us.    
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
:welcome: from the Pacific NorthWest, USA!
 
Hey Everyone!   So a quick status update.  I've been having really good success recently with neem oil.  The bottle recommended 1oz Neem Oil, 1 oz mild soap, and 4 L water.  This ratio kept leaving my plants with burns and all the leaves fell off.  Since then I've been using 1/4 oz Neem Oil, 1/4oz Dish soap, 2 L water.  This has kicked the flies butts and not had very much effect on the leaves.  some still fall off occasionally and some look stressed, but All the plants are growing like crazy now.  I also have a small bottle on hand that I go through and spot spray as flies appear given it is Singapore and these flies will never go away.  I hope it works for everyone else too!  Thanks for all the help!
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
BurnBaby said:
Hey Everyone!   So a quick status update.  I've been having really good success recently with neem oil.  The bottle recommended 1oz Neem Oil, 1 oz mild soap, and 4 L water.  This ratio kept leaving my plants with burns and all the leaves fell off.  Since then I've been using 1/4 oz Neem Oil, 1/4oz Dish soap, 2 L water.  This has kicked the flies butts and not had very much effect on the leaves.  some still fall off occasionally and some look stressed, but All the plants are growing like crazy now.  I also have a small bottle on hand that I go through and spot spray as flies appear given it is Singapore and these flies will never go away.  I hope it works for everyone else too!  Thanks for all the help!
Good for you, BB! Glad to hear your half-strength
mix has mitigated the problem for the most part.
 
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