Tiny white flies (ash flies or whitefly), look like volcanic ash, hence their name, stormed Oregon this summer and fall 2015. They are native to the Mediterranean and Africa. In the United States, California has been seeing these tiny flies since the late 80's, and began spreading through out the warmer climate states since. This new insect to Oregon may have some consequences for our landscapes this spring. They feed on the nutrient rich tissue of plant life. What this means for Oregon, is a possible attack on plant life. Especially fruit bearing trees and vegetable crops this spring, after their dormancy period.
While the horticulturist in the video predicts there is no treatment for getting rid of these completely; we at Valley West, have the gloves off! We plan to fight for our vegetables, ornamental and fruiting trees. Areas with experience controlling these bugs have used an insecticidal wash on the underside of the the leaves (which is where the damage is done). The farmers almanac has a homemade recipe along with other suggestions of control methods, such as lady bug use and fly traps.
Farmer's Almanac Recipe For Homemade Insecticidal Wash
An additional ingredient to this recipe we recommend adding, is neem oil, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil and 1/2 teaspoon rosemary oil. Spray plant material every 7 - 14 days or as needed. Buy Neem oil here. Too much work to make spray? You can buy pre-made spray here.
Some use a chemical to control these insects. However, we prefer the natural method (homemade spray) of controlling ash flies, because a chemical known as a neonicotinoid in most insecticide's (although not all) is associated with declining bees populations. We take precautions and use "bee-friendly" insecticides as much as possible.