Pest Control for Whiteflies

Whiteflies are tiny insects that infest vegetable and ornamental plants. These little flies are sap-suckers that excrete honeydew, much like an aphid, turning the leaves yellow and causing them to drop. Outbreaks are often abundant during warm weather. Hearts Pest Management is certified in green pest control for general and landscape pests such as the whitefly.
Whiteflies suck the tender parts of a plant.

Whiteflies suck the tender parts of a plant.

There are various species of whitefly, along with the Giant whitefly – a native of Mexico that invaded southern California in the early 1990’s.
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The Giant whitefly has reached several other states including Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Texas. Since its intro into California and because of our warm weather, the Giant whitefly is spreading rapidly, along the coast of southern California, to the north, and into our interior valleys.
Giant whiteflies on leaf

Giant Whitefly (Aleurodicus dugesii)

Although we call them flies, whiteflies are not true flies; they’re related to aphids, scales, and mealybugs. Host plants and trees often infested with whitefly include: Vegetables, Bougainvillea, Hibiscus, Avocado, Citrus, Sweet Gum, Fuchsia, and Eucalyptus, just to name a few. …
Hibiscus flower and whitefly

Hibiscus trees often become infested with whiteflies.

Evidence of Whiteflies

The first thing you may notice is yellowing and loss of leaves. Check the underside for clusters of tiny whiteflies and hair-like filaments. Tops of leaves may have a mold fungus. The mold develops from honeydew whiteflies emit when they’re feeding. This sugary substance is sticky and fosters the growth of a fungus called “black sooty mold.”
Fungus from Whitefly - Black Sooty Mold

Fungus from Whitefly – Black Sooty Mold

Natural Enemies

Predators of whiteflies include lacewings, flower and hover flies, big-eyed bugs, ladybugs, and the multicolored Asian lady beetle all feed on whitefly.
The Big-eyed bug (yes, that’s what it’s really called) feeds on whiteflies and is used for biological control of whiteflies on crops.

The Big-eyed bug (yes, that’s what it’s really called) feeds on whiteflies and is used for biological control of whiteflies on crops.

Controlling Whitefly Infestations

Do-it-yourself method: Since whiteflies cluster underneath the leaves of a plant, you can help lower their population by removing the infested leaves but, this only works when whiteflies are restricted to just a few plants or trees. And, you have to be vigilant to keep an infestation down. Place infested leaves in plastic bags, seal, and dispose to keep whiteflies from spreading. Or, you can let us help you with your whitefly problem!
Larvae of the flower fly are natural enemies of whiteflies.

Larvae of the flower fly are natural enemies of whiteflies.

Monitoring to detect early infestations is extremely important in controlling this landscape pest. Hearts Pest Management has both traditional and organic methods for eliminating whiteflies. Many of our customers choose to have a monthly or bi-monthly maintenance plan in which our service professionals perform an inspection at the time of each service treatment. Your technician will keep you apprised of any changes in your landscape and will practice IPM (Integrated Pest Management) when treating your property. Call us today for more information about landscape pests and our free inspections!


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