Whitefly Protection in SWFL
Whiteflies have become a major issue in Southwest Florida with at least four species of particular concern: Ficus, Rugose Spiraling, Bondar’s Nesting and Silverleaf. Residents have noticed plant leaves yellowing, dropping, covered with white waxy material called flocculent, or covered with whitefly excrement called honeydew and its accompanying sooty mold. Plants, walkways, cars, outdoor furniture and even pools may become covered with the sticky material or flocculent. Whiteflies are among the many pests that are part of living in a subtropical climate.
They can be managed with proper plant cultural practices; use of other beneficial insects, mites and fungi; and judicious application of the appropriate pesticides. A chronic problem in greenhouses, whiteflies can also become serious pests during the sultry days of late summer. These sucking insects often appear suddenly, and quickly weaken plants with their constant feeding. Whiteflies are most serious in warm climates where they can survive winter.
What Are Whiteflies?
Small, soft-bodied sucking insects, whiteflies look like tiny white triangles, less than one-tenth inch long, when resting on the undersides of plants. Feeding is concentrated on leaf undersides, where whiteflies remove so much plant sap that the plants are seriously weakened. Many species of whitefly feed on ornamental plants, but only one or two are likely to cause problems in the vegetable garden. Whiteflies are most likely to cause problems on okra, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and sweet potatoes grown in warm climates. In some areas, whiteflies also damage cucumber and cabbage-family crops.
What Whitefly Damage Looks Like
Pale, wilting leaves are a sign that whiteflies are sucking juices from leaf undersides. As you approach infested plants to inspect the lower sides of wilted leaves, hundreds of tiny white moths take to the air in a cloud. If the whiteflies have been feeding for several days, the leaves may have a sticky substance (whitefly honeydew) and ants may be present as honeydew consumers.
Whitefly Life Cycle
Whiteflies are greenhouse pests in all climates, but they are serious vegetable garden pests mostly in mild winter climates that permit their winter survival. When adult females find suitable host plants, they feed on leaf undersides and lay eggs there. A female may lay 200 to 400 eggs without moving from a plant. Upon hatching, the nearly invisibly small crawlers find a place to feed and insert their sucking mouthparts. Feeding continues for up to three weeks, when nymphs pupate into adults. Frequently problems are not noticed until a 30-day generation has passed, and a population has successfully flourished in the garden.
Lenny’s Pest Control has a team of experts that specialize in Southwest Florida Pest Control inside and outside of your home or business. With over 50 years experience we are Southwest Florida’s #1 choice for tackling any kind of bug, pest, rodent or insect in your living or working space. Don’t try to fix it yourself, let the experts handle all of your pest control problems! We proudly service the Lee, Charlotte and Collier Counties. Call 239-945-6543 to get a quote today!
Lenny’s Pest Control is all about educating you and helping you protect your home or office space from unwanted, bugs and pests. We always take time to answer all your questions and educate you about what needs to be done for your home, office or lawn. We are experienced in tackling ants, roaches, mice, the Whitefly, GRUBS, termites and any other insects in your yard or living space. We have a team of experts that specialize in Southwest Florida Pest Control inside and outside of your home or place of business and we do the job right the first time. Don’t try to fix it yourself, let the experts handle all of your pest control problems! We proudly service Residential or Commercial clients in the Lee, Charlotte and Collier Counties. Call us at 239-945-6543 to get a quote today!
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