How To Get Rid of Whiteflies On Your Avocado Tree

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    Avocado trees are beautiful and evergreen. They are generally healthy plants but they are susceptible to sap-feeding pests like whiteflies. These insects suck the liquid from plant cells and exude “honeydew.” Whiteflies on your avocado tree produce the honeydew that attracts colonies of sooty molds. If the molds grow dense enough, they interfere with photosynthesis and can cause serious problems for avocado trees. Ants, which can be beneficial to gardens, unfortunately, protect the insects so they can harvest their honeydew. So, how do you get rid of whiteflies on your avocado tree?

    red ladybug perched on green leaf in close up photography during daytime, whiteflies on your avocado tree

    How to Get Rid of Whiteflies on Your Avocado Tree

    To get rid of the flies, you first need to get rid of any ants. To do this:

    • 2 to 4 feet above the ground, apply a 4-inch-wide strip of masking tape to the trunk of your avocado tree. Add polybutene to the band about 3 inches wide and be very careful not to get it on the trunk. The ants will get caught in the strips, so check regularly for dead ants and drying out.
    • Place ant bait along the base of the tree. Look for the paths the ants are taking to and from the tree. Refill the baits regularly.

    Next, take care of the whiteflies on your tree. To do this:

    • Look for small groups of whiteflies actively feeding on the underside of the avocado leaves. Spray the underside of the leaves with strong jets of water to dislodge the larvae and discourage the adults from feeding. Repeat this treatment as needed until you see no more whiteflies. 
    • If your infestation is too great to treat with water, apply insecticidal soap to areas with flies feeding. You may need to repeat this treatment as well.
    • Enjoy having no whiteflies on your avocado tree!