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WHITEFLIES HAVE INVADED SW FLORIDA

Leaf infested with WhitefliesTLC Lawn has a thorough understanding of the Whitefly issue which has invaded Florida. These pests are attacking many species of plants, including Coconut Palms, Areca Palms, Christmas Palms, Birds of Paradise, Black Olive Trees, Gumbo Limbo Trees, Ficus, Cocoplum, Jasmine, Gardenias, and many others.

The whiteflies feed on the undersides of leaves, producing honeydew, which is the perfect medium for black sooty mold fungus. This sooty mold fungus causes the affected tree or shrub to not only be covered in black, but leaves will begin to turn yellow and spot, curl and defoliate. When looking at the underside of a whitefly affected leaf, you will notice a circle of white where the insects have invaded the leaves and are feeding.

Female whiteflies mate and produce up to 150 eggs on the leaves, then the nymphs hatch and cover the leaves. Once the nymphs have hatched, they begin to ingest the plant sap. This whole process is complete in four to six weeks and can happen many times per year. Like many other pests, the whiteflies can adjust to pest control products; therefore these products become less effective. We at TLC Lawn believe to keep whiteflies from mutating, a chemical rotation approach should be taken. Imidacloprid is currently the go to chemical for treatment; however there are other effective chemicals for control.

Once whiteflies have been eradicated, the trees and/or shrubs will start to improve; however, the black sooty mold fungus does not come off of the leaves. This only happens as new leaves form. We are always available to discuss treatments and answer questions.

 

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