Thursday
Feb232012

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly 

This is a NEW type of whitefly sucking the life from trees, palms and shrubs throughout South Florida.  A tiny, winged leaf-sucking insect with"needle-like" mouths, (not the same as the ficus whitefly) draining all the nutrients from host plants; of Central American origin and found in Miami-Dade County 3yrs ago.

 Injecting Treatment 
Our first encounter was in Miramar at a shopping center we maintain. We first noticed them on Gumbo-Limbo then Callophyllum trees and in a week began infesting the entire property of over 450 trees!  We inquired about systemic treatments with our affiliate New Leaf Pest Control, but realized this whitefly was still very unknown, so we saught expert help from Dr. Catharine Mannion, a University of Florida Associate Professor and Extension Specialist based in Homestead. 

 Preparing for Injections

Dr. Mannion agreed to meet onsite along with the property owners, also inviting the City of Miramar (for adjoining infested trees). She shared her knowledge and assisted with a treatment plan.  She cautioned on the importance of not destroying the whitefly's natural predators from misuse or overuse of insecticides.  

 

The most noticeable symptoms of an infestation of this whitefly is the abundance of the white, waxy material covering the leaves. Like similar insects, these whiteflies will produce "honeydew", a sugary substance, which causes the growth of sooty mold.  Below you can see a picture of Callophyllum tree leaves covered in honeydew.

 

Rugose Whitefly

   

Click here to download more information from University of Florida.