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Anyone have any experience with whitefly in an indoor aquaponic system? I thought that at one point I may have a nutrient deficiency in the system, but upon further research, and the presence of whitefly adults hovering around my system, I think I have a pest problem rather than a nutrient problem.

I notice very tiny, and I mean tiny, worm like creatures that I am assuming are the larvae underneath and occasionally on top of the leaves. My leaves are dying in patches until they become brittle and fall off. I need to get rid of these ASAP. They are killing my plants left and right!

I know about hanging yellow paper coated with vaseline near the garden but I am wondering what else I can do. I have read liquid seaweed sprayed on and under the leaves helps. Any other suggestions?

Aquaponics has become seriously frustrating in the last few months.


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I used the yellow sticky traps and that took care of my whitefly problem. Aphids on the other hand... 

please post if you have any luck with the liquid seaweed. Apparently there is a tomato disease that is caused/transmitted by white flies. The only "remedy" have have seen in traditional gardening is to pull the plant and start again. Not exactly a solution as far as I'm concerned
I hear you about it being frustrating. I've got either a whitefly or some sort of fungus gnat problem that I haven't been able to resolve. It is very frustrating. I am growing in a basement. I have tried applying beneficial nematodes as well as spraying a solution of ivory dish soap and water. I even tried hanging a bug zapper above my plants. I am going to to hang some sticky whitefly traps tonight.

Good luck. If you find a solution that works for you please share.

Have you thought about non-venomous spiders like daddy long legs and others. According to National Geographic their Latin name in English means "aphid suckers " you might look into this as a possibility.

Thanks everyone! Nice to know that it is not just I that shares in the frustration.

I have begun using the liquid seaweed already and I am setting up the traps today. I will keep you posted.

Liquid life...I like your solution...however I must inform you that I would most likely have a functioning system, a nice collection of spiders and no more wife. Hahaha. Maybe I'll just start secretly collecting the ones she has me kill.

I haven't had any problems with white fly specifically, but I have had other insect infestations. So, I caught two baby lizards 6 months ago and put them in my greenhouse. Now they are fully grown (4 inch bodies) and every time I see them they are either, eating or about to catch a bug.

Whitefly infestations are certainly not exclusive to aquaponics. They are a pest which causes significant economic damage in many branches of the food growing industries.

Plain water will work as just effectively as any seaweed extract the pupa are soft bodied and breathe through pore in their skin. Water, soaps, oils will all in essence 'clog' these pores up and asphyxiate such soft bodied insects. Unfortunately, oils and soaps will do the same to your fish if too much ends up getting into the system water.

Spinosad A&D type products (natural bacterial exudates) offer a degree of fish safe control, but success has been rather spotty with Spinosad alone.

Predator insects have become my favorite and most used methods for the control of pests. They're safe, don't require mixing and spraying and provide me with "cool stuff to look" at under the microscope 

For whiteflies look into Encarsia formosa, and Delphastus pusillus 

E. fomosa is a type of parasitic wasp (no it doesn't have the ability to sting humans). It lays it's egg inside of the whitefly pupa...the egg hatches (inside the whitefly) and and the small parasitic wasp emerges from it's now dead host. It's pretty neat to watch under a lens...Sort of like that scene in the first "Alien" movie...

D. pusillus is a small (1/16") ladybird beetle that crawls around and eats the whiteflies in all stages of it's life cycle.

There are many places from which to order these predators on-line...

It's strange that you described the larva as "worm like", as the are usually roundish and plump-y looking...wonder if you have something else going on there as well...good luck

3000 ladybugs did a splendid job of clearing up our whitefly infestation in our 24x24 GH. I ordered 1500 but after 2 weeks lost in the mail the vendor sent another 1500 and of course they BOTH arrived on the same day 3 weeks later. The original box looked like it was kicked around the PO for those weeks but both batches seemed fine. They are tougher than they look. They arrived very hungry and went right to work. A week later it was hard to find any trace of the flies.

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