Q. last year I planted tomatoes the plants were full of little whiteflies. The tomatoes had a sticky black to the touch. What did I do wrong?
A. Perhaps we should ask ourselves what did you fail to do. Whiteflies are a real nuisance on tomatoes, and you may need to discuss control measures with your local gardening expert – perhaps a garden center, nursery, or your County Agriculture Agent.
Be aware that some commercial pesticides are recommended for whitefly control, but they also kill beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, that feed upon whiteflies.
Start by spraying infested tomato plants with a strong stream of water. While only a temporary solution, this can knock whiteflies and other pests off the plants.
Remove all old plant material from the garden, including all weeds.
Spray both top and bottom sides of all leaves on infested tomato plants with insecticidal soap, neem oil, pyrethrin or horticultural oil. Spray in the evening to minimize contact with beneficial insects. Repeat treatment twice each week until whiteflies are gone.
If you do get advice from local specialists, be sure you follow instructions religiously! the best advice in the world is worthless if it’s not followed.