Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Whiteflies are back...and the war begins!

So, as faithful readers of this blog know, I suffered an infestation of whiteflies which cut short a promising lettuce Aerogarden and which tormented me during the tomato Aerogarden. Before planting a new series of Aerogardens, I have been waiting to give enough time for the whiteflies to be completely eradicated. The last thing I want is to start up a new Aerogarden and start the cycle all over again (with snowpeas and mesclun no less, plants which I suspect will be whitefly magnets)

Faithful readers of this blog will also know that in the living room, far far away from the kitchen that the whiteflies took over, I have my houseplants. I have a money tree, a gardenia, a spaphff..spaphiff..spapfiff...a peace plant, and of course my beloved basil plants from the original Basil Aerogarden which started this blog. 

To my dismay, when I watered the basil plants yesterday, I was pruning the white flowers off the tops of one of my basil plant, and one of the flowers flew away. It didn't take me long to realize that it was a whitefly. I was sad to see that the whiteflies had made it all the way across my apartment by now. And I am mad. Spittin' and Stinkin' mad. 

This means war. 

The first thing I did was to do what I should have done a long time ago. I went to the Gardener's Supply Company to buy Whitefly Traps. Now I admit, I am skeptical that these will help, but I'm desperate. And the reviews on Gardener's Supply Company seem pretty good. I think the consensus is that while the traps don't always clear the entire problem, at least it helps control it. 

The better solution, if these were outdoor plants, would be to get a bag of ladybugs, but of course for indoor plants, the one nastier thing than a whitefly infestation is a ladybug infestation.

I will also take the advice Corinne posted as a comment a few months ago and try to fill a jar with sweet stuff.

I didn't think whiteflies went after basil (they seemed to like the parsley much better), but I guess when you're a starving whitefly you don't get particular. 

As for the basil, I will probably end up making one last glorious batch of basil pesto, and then ending the basil plants that I had raised since they were young happy seeds. 

Wish me luck--and join me in the first to eradicate whiteflies from the world, or at least from my apartment. It's only once I know the whitefly situation is under control that I can start the new Aerogardens. 

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