If you’re growing Basil in early Spring you may be experiencing curling on the new succulent leaf growth. Regardless of in-door potted plants, greenhouse or in your yard or field. These young plants are susceptible to white flies. Whiteflies are tiny, sap-sucking insects that are frequently abundant in vegetable and ornamental plantings. They excrete sticky honeydew and cause yellowing or death of leaves. Outbreaks often occur when the natural biological control is disrupted. Management is difficult (UC IPM on line).
If you are looking for a solution without going the biological approach (General predators include lacewings, bigeyed bugs, and minute pirate bugs, lady beetles) then I would make the following recommendations: dilute insecticidal soaps, neem oil is good for direct use and spray the plant thoroughly. Secondly, Pyrethroids are effective but will also disrupt any natural predators(including bees). The flies will build up quickly. A good way to check if you don’t see the white cluster under the leaf (adaxial side) is flick the leaf and notice a dandruff like flaking. It is a good idea to isolate the plant if it is practical while you treat it to avoid contamination to other neighboring plants.
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