Whiteflies

Pest: Whiteflies (Trialeurodes vaporariorum, Bemisia tabaci)

Pest Type: Insect Pest

Major Identifying Features: Whiteflies are not true flies, adults are tiny insects with yellowish bodies and four white wings, nymphs are wingless without visible legs, all stages feed by sucking plant juices from leaves and excrete honeydew

Life Cycle: Whiteflies develop rapidly in warm weather, colonies develop underneath leaves, they don’t go through a true complete metamorphosis

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Difficult

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Warm weather causes outbreaks, whiteflies have a wide range of host including many weeds and crops, whiteflies can be found all year in California

Damage Information: Whiteflies pierce and suck sap from plant phloem, large populations can cause leaves to turn yellow, or fall off, sooty mold can grow on honeydew, honeydew also attracts ants, damage can lead to vegetable crop losses

Management Options: Prevention of general garden problems, cultural care and removal of heavily infested plants, mechanical removal by hosing down with water sprays, or sticky traps, chemical applications of neem oil and soaps may reduce populations

Sources:

http://www.ipm.ucanr.edu

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