Recognize the problem
Whitefly is the most
damaging pest of many
vegetable and horticultural crops, including chilli, tomato, papaya and guava. The whitefly is a small white insect, which lives underneath
the leaves. If the plant is gently shaken, the whiteflies
will fly away and so are
easy to see. Too many
whiteflies can destroy the
total crop. When the whitefly sucks on the plant, it can inject viruses into the plant. Viruses
make the plant curl at the shoot tips. Diseased chilli plants have small fruits which
Stunted plants are infected
with viruses, which can be spread to
healthy plants by whiteflies.
Rain drowns the whiteflies, so
there are more whiteflies in the dry season. Even just five whiteflies per plant during
the first few weeks after transplanting
result in stunting. Older plants are more resistant to the disease.
Remove stunted and diseased plants and destroy them outside of the field
Plants must be kept free of whiteflies during the first five
weeks of the life of the crop
§ Four days after transplanting, soak the soil
with an insecticide; Imidacloprid
(e.g. Admire) using
a knapsack sprayer and
at the recommended dose (RD), as written on the label. Usually this controls the
pest for two months.
§ Never spray the chemicals twice, because they stay
the plant for a long
If whiteflies return after two
months, control them with systemic or contact insecticides;
cypermethrin (e.g. Ripcord) / fenvelarate (e.g. Fenfen) at RD mentioned in the label
observe the plants frequently. Note, these chemicals will also have an
effect on natural enemies of whiteflies.
When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.