Q. What are whiteflies?
A. Not true flies; whiteflies are actually members of the same insect family that contains aphids, scale insects, leafhoppers and mealy bugs.  They derive their name from the white, waxy substance they secrete.

Q. What do they look like?
A. Whiteflies are usually about 1/16 of an inch long.  They have a pierce-sucking mouthpart located at the back of their head.  Like other members of the Homoptera family, they have four transparent wings with visible veins.  On a whitefly, these wings appear opaque due to the white waxy scales that give the whitefly its color.  These wings create a roof-like covering over the insect when not in flight.


Q. What damage can whiteflies cause?
A. Whiteflies cause serious injury to plants by sucking juices from them, resulting in wilting, stunting and even death.  Florida Ficus tress and hedges are frequent victims of whitefly infestation.  The white, sticky substance called honeydew that is secreted by whiteflies can coat virtually any object, including fruit, leaves, walkways, windows and windshields and anywhere it should fall.  Molds grow on this honeydew, creating a black, sticky mess. These molds make fruit unmarketable.  It also blocks sunlight from reaching leaf surfaces, thus reducing the natural occurrence of photosynthesis.  Whitefly adults transmit various viruses from plant to plant, damaging not only commercial agriculture but also backyard gardens and landscaping.


Q. Can this damage be prevented?
A. The only sure way to prevent damage by whiteflies is to catch and eradicate them early.  Due to their rapid development in warm climates, their populations build quickly in situations where natural enemies are destroyed and the weather is favorable, and Florida is an ideal home for them.  Your best strategy is to call the professionals at All County Environmental Services.  Our experienced pest control management team can assess and treat your particular situation quickly and effectively, preventing further damage and the spread of this notoriously hearty pest.  Contact Us today and prevent costly damage to your landscaping.

Healthy Ficus Hedge


Recovering Ficus Hedge