Silverleaf Whiteflies are not actually flies but distant relatives of aphids and leafhoppers. And like aphids, whiteflies feed on plant sap and produce a sugary waste product called honeydew. Whiteflies cause damage in a variety of ways by eating the plant, as a result of their sugary excretions, and by spreading viruses. The most common genus and species were Bemisia Tabaci believed to have originated in India or the Middle East and identified in the United States dating back to 1896. In the 1980s another biotype, Bemisia Argentifolii began attacking Florida farms, poinsettias, tomatoes, and other fruits and vegetables. Within five years this biotype had spread to Texas and California costing over a billion dollars in agricultural loss.
Scientists have found a variety of effective biological and chemical controls along with cultural practice recommendations for reducing the threat of whiteflies. A couple of options we stock at Earth Works are either a broad spectrum or systemic insecticide from Ferti•lome.
Whiteflies once considered a minor pest have become a major problem for agriculture and may pop up in your garden.
For help addressing your specific lawn and lawn pest control needs contact Chad Lakin, Lawn Maintenance & Lawn Pest Control operations manager for a FREE Lawn Maintenance & Lawn Pest Control Quote: 904-996-0712.