now a few more relatively new whitefly species in 2016 that have come causing big problems for
local residents in south Florida as you may have seen on the news, in a neighbor's yard or firsthand in your own yard, these
are the Rugose Whitefly and Ficus Whitefly. Like the Ficus
Whitefly that have been causing problems with our ficus trees and hedges locally for several years, these
also are small, winged insects that typically feed from under the leaf of ficus, palm and
other susceptible plants with their sucking mouthparts.
Whiteflies can seriously injure or kill some plants by quickly
sucking essential nutrients right out of the plant causing possible wilting, yellowing, stunting, leaf drop, or even death. Depending on how many susceptible species
of plants you have in your landscape the dollar amount could be very significant to replace if not treated.
There are more than 75 different species
of whiteflies reported in Florida, the most problematic in Boca Raton and Delray Beach include
the Rugose Whitefly and Ficus Whitefly.
Rugose Whitefly formerly
known as Gumbo Limbo Spirialing Whitefly also appears to attack a wide range of plants from palms of
many varieties to woody ornamentals and fruit trees, it has been confirmed to attack over 60 different host plants
including: Coconut Palm (appearing to be the worst affected), Mango, Avocado, Live Oak, Black Olive, Gumbo Limbo,
Cocoplum, White Bird of Paradise and many others. *(treated fruit trees
should not be eaten as per product lable requirements).
The adult whiteflies congregate
on the undersides of the leaves to feed and reproduce. The female Rugose Whitefly lays her eggs
in a spiral pattern on the leaves and also deposits a white, waxy substance on the eggs. The crawler stage hatches from the
eggs and crawls around before it starts to feed with its “needle-like” mouthparts. This stage is very small and
difficult to see. The crawler will molt and go through several immature stages some of these immature stages will secrete
white filaments of wax all over the leaves. It will likely survive year round in the warm climate of south Florida.
The most noticeable symptoms of
a Rugose Whitefly infestation is the abundance of “honeydew”,
which is another name for the whitefly’s excrements, the sticky urine and feces that the whitefly secretes constantly,
that can get all over everything which is anywhere near to under the infested area and causes the growth of "black
sooty mold" damaging whatever it lands on such as cars, pools, boats, docks, decking, outdoor furniture
etc... Rugose and Ficus Whitefly can reach high populations quickly
and can be extremely damaging, this is why it is suggested that you begin treatment as soon as you notice the infestation
to avoid as much dammage as possible!
Many local pool services
all over south Florida have been completely overwhelmed with trying to keep the whitefly and
their "honeydew" out of their customer's pools which is literally turning them a sticky, green, cloudy mess, clogging
filters and possibly causing the pool pump to burn up. This is creating a nightmare for local pool owners and professional
pool service providers that are just trying to keep their pools clean enough to use during a time when everyone wants to use
their pools the most. No one wants to go in when the water looks like that!
You may achieve excellent control of Rugose and Ficus
Whitefly with one of the methods listed below, but remember the white, waxy material and the sooty mold on the
plant will take time to wear off unless physically washed off with soapy water.
How to kill Rugose Whitefly and
Ficus Whitefly in Delray Beach Florida
Contact pyrethroid insecticides are typically sprayed on the foliage to kill adult
whiteflies, coverage must be thorough to get the best results, particularly in cases like this when the insect
is primarily on the underside of the leaves.
systemic sprays of Tristar are very effective on adult whitefly giving both quick knockdown and good residual protection.
neonicotinoid insecticide can be applied directly to the infested plant or to the soil. Soil applications of a systemic
neonicotinoid include drenching the soil with a liquid neonicotinoid chemical or spreading
a granular neonicotinoid formulation over the root area then watering it in properly. Some neonicotinoid
products can also be applied as a basal trunk spray.
also use the Arborjet system and products in certian circumstances because they provide a systemic approach
using neonicotinoid trunk injection of control products directly into the vascular tissue of the affected tree, this
method safely applies the control product deep into the trunk which then moves up and throughout the canopy into all the leaves.
This method is very popular at resorts and public areas because the trees can be treated while sun bathers lounge right under
them safely! We use the Arborjet system at Delray Beach Pest Control Inc. as part of our
extensive arsonal of whitefly control products used in our south Florida area to treat the whitefly
infestations quickly and effectively!
neonicotinoid insecticides can also be sprayed on the foliage, but often provide longer control when applied to the
soil or trunk.
We at Delray Beach Pest Control Inc. use one or a combination of the above whitefly
control methods to service our customers in 2014 with the best treatments available!
Call Delray Beach Pest Control To schedule your
treatment at 561-862-7326