Whiteflies

Whiteflies, also known as Aleyrodidae, are Soft-bodied, winged insects closely related to aphids and mealybugs. They can be found in most any region, but they are so tiny that they are usually camouflaged.

Whiteflies, also known as Aleyrodidae, are Soft-bodied, winged insects closely related to aphids and mealybugs. They can be found in most any region, but they are so tiny that they are usually camouflaged.

They can be as small as 1/12 of an inch, somewhat triangular in shape, and are often found in clusters on the undersides of leaves. They are active during the daytime, so they are easier to spot than some other nocturnal pests. Whiteflies are capable of surviving winter and reproducing throughout the year in warmer climates.

One common species of whitefly is the silver leaf whitefly, which is slightly smaller and more yellow than other whiteflies. Silver leaf whiteflies are especially common in the tropics.

All species of whiteflies affect a wide variety of plants.

You’ll often see whiteflies in mid- to late-summer when it gets warm; they are also a common pest in greenhouses.

Feeding and Damage

Whiteflies feed by inserting stylet-like mouth part through the plant tissue to the Phleom and suck more plant juice than they can digest, as such they excrete the excess as a sweet, sticky substance called honeydew.

The honeydew covers leaf surfaces and acts as a growth medium for a black, sooty mold.

Sooty mold growing on the honeydew causes fungal diseases and can also interfere with photosynthesis.

Leaf curl virus transmitted by whiteflies

NB:  To remove the sooty mould, honey dew dust and other contaminants off leaf surface, spray your crops with JAMBO CLEAN 100ML IN 20 LITRES OF WATER MIXED WITH INTEGRA AT 3ML IN 20L OF WATER.

Sooty mould in citrus plant

IDENTIFICATION

Whiteflies suck plant juices and, in turn, produce a sticky substance known as honeydew.

Due to whitefly feeding, plants will quickly become extremely weak and may be unable to carry out photosynthesis. Leaves will wilt, turn pale or yellow, and growth will be stunted.

Honeydew is a sign that the whiteflies have been feeding for several days and you might also see ants, which are attracted to the honeydew.

Check undersides of leaves around the veins for white insects, even if they aren’t visible, and feel leaf surfaces for honeydew. If the whiteflies are feeding, they’ll suddenly all fly off the leaves in a swarm once the plant is disturbed.

You may also find eggs also laid on the undersides of leaves. This is the beginning of a new generation! When the eggs hatch, the larvae will look like teeny white ovals without legs; they don’t move but they immediately start sucking the plant juice. This is why gardeners miss the whiteflies until it’s too late.

Biology

Adult females can produce up to 400 eggs, which can hatch in between one week and a month. They are usually laid in a circular pattern. Eggs are pale yellow when newly laid and brown when about to hatch.

Control

These small piercing and sucking insects are notorious to chemicals and develops resistance very fast. BUT Green life Crop Protection has very effective and affordable chemicals for their control. Alternate the following chemicals:-

  • Taurus 500 SP (15g/20l)
  • Presento 200 SP (5g/20l)
  • Profile 440EC (30ml/20l)
  • Emerald 200SL (10ml/20l)
  • King Code Elite 50EC (10ml/20l)

N/B: Always include Integra (3ml/20l) which is a sticker/wetter/spreader/penetrant

(Integra ensures that the products you spray sticks to the leaves and stem, spreads to all areas of the leave and penetrates to the underside of the leave. This properties ensures that the products works at optimal condition to eliminate the onion thrips.)

Last updated on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 8:34 am

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