Archive for the ‘Whitefly’ Category

FL Whitefly Website ~ Training Reminder & CEU Opportunity

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly Eggs, Juveniles, and Adults. Photo: UF Laura Sanagorski

As a reminder, the relatively new Florida Whitefly website (flwhitefly.org) has management information for professionals, homeowners, and educators.  For professionals, this site provides access to an e-learning course  titled “Invasive Whitefly Pests of Florida”.   Following the course, an exam will be presented; professionals who successfully complete the exam will be listed on the website.    I encourage horticultural professionals who treat or plan to treat whiteflies to take the class and exam to increase knowledge, earn one CEU, and get on the list.  Potential customers look to this list to hire professionals who are proficient in whitefly management.

The Florida Whitefly website is a result of a partnership between the University of Florida (UF), IFAS Extension, Department of Entomology and Nematology, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-Division of Plant Industry, UF/IFAS Extension-Lee, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties, Southern Plant Diagnostic Network, IPM Florida, and Pest Management University.

A score of 70% or better on the quiz earns the user one FDACS CEU in one of the following categories: Limited Lawn and Ornamental, Limited Landscape Maintenance, and Commercial Lawn and Ornamental.

Washing Leaves to Manage Spiraling Whitefly

Washing of plant leaves is one of our recommendations for managing the rugose spiraling whitefly.  This seems almost too easy, but I urge green industry professionals to not discount this technique.  Washing of plant leaves can be effective and appropriate:

  • On small-scale whitefly infestations
  • For early stages of infestation
  • When infected plants are accesible
  • When pesticide usage is not practical or desireable
  • In conjunction with pesticides

Washing of plant leaves may not be a one-time solution to pest problems, but it can be a highly effective method for removing a significant amount of whiteflies.  The images below are an example of whitefly removal from a white bird of paradise with water alone.  If deemed appropriate, this method could be followed-up with horticultural soap or oil; or a systemic insecticide from the neonicotinoid family.

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Remember to scout landscapes frequently so that pest problems can be identified and monitored.  Please refer to Dr. Catharine Mannion’s Rugose Spiraling Whitefly EDIS publication for further management recommendations.

New Florida Whitefly Website (Includes List of Trained Professionals)

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly Eggs, Juveniles, and Adults. Photo: UF Laura Sanagorski

Green industry professionals of Palm Beach County should be aware of the new Florida Whitefly website (flwhitefly.org) that contains whitefly management information for professionals, homeowners, and educators.  For professionals, this site provides access to an e-learning course  titled “Invasive Whitefly Pests of Florida”.   Following the course, an exam will be presented; professionals who successfully complete the exam will be listed on the website.    I encourage horticultural professionals who treat or plan to treat whiteflies to take the class and exam to increase knowledge, earn one CEU, and get on the list.  Individuals may look to this list to hire professionals who are proficient in whitefly management.

The Florida Whitefly website is a result of a partnership between the University of Florida (UF), IFAS Extension, Department of Entomology and Nematology, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-Division of Plant Industry, UF/IFAS Extension-Lee, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties, Southern Plant Diagnostic Network, IPM Florida, and Pest Management University.

A score of 70% or better on the quiz earns the user one FDACS CEU in one of the following categories: Limited Lawn and Ornamental, Limited Landscape Maintenance, and Commercial Lawn and Ornamental.

Recording of Whitefly Workshop Now Available!!

Did you miss our April 10th Whitefly Workshop?  You can view the entire April 10th Whitefly Management Program polycom recording here.

This video has not been edited, but we wanted to share it immediately with horticultural professionals who missed the event.  It will be available for approximately three weeks, at which time it will be replaced with an edited video production.

Visit the Palm Beach County Whitefly Taskforce website for current versions of the presentations and fact sheets.

Enjoy!

Whitefly Fact Sheets

As you know, ficus, rugose spiraling, and other whiteflies have become an issue in South Florida.  Each has its own favorite plants to feed and reproduce on.  In addition to the damage younger stages of these whiteflies cause by feeding on plants, they produce a sticky substance called honeydew, which can support the growth of sooty mold, and ultimately, a big mess, and unsightly plant material.

Please see the following fact sheets, brought to you by UF / IFAS Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service and the Palm Beach County Whitefly Task Force.  These fact sheets are brief, and perfect for sharing with customers and homeowners.

  1. Whiteflies In Palm Beach County: Introduction (Whitefly Task Force Fact Sheet #1)
  2. Whiteflies In Palm Beach County: Life Cycle and Biology (Whitefly Task Force Fact Sheet #2)
  3. Whiteflies In Palm Beach County: Working with Natural Enemies (Whitefly Task Force Fact Sheet #3)
  4. Whiteflies In Palm Beach County: Selecting a Pest Control Company (Whitefly Task Force Fact Sheet #4)
  5. Whiteflies In Palm Beach County: Reducing Stress on Plants (Whitefly Task Force Fact Sheet #5)

Please watch the IFAS Palm Beach County Extension: Environmental Horticulture blog and our  Palm Beach County Whitefly Taskforce webpage for updates.

Ficus and Other Whitefly Landscape Management Workshops!

Two ‘Ficus & Other Whitefly Landscape Management’ workshops to be offered by the UF / IFAS Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service and the Palm Beach Whitefly Task Force

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly <Photo: UF Laura Sanagorski>

WHAT: 

  1. The latest on the Palm Beach Whitefly Task Force
  2. Ficus, rugose spiraling, bondari nesting & silverleaf whitefly identification and management
  3. Update on biological tools for whitefly management
  4. Panel of industry and university experts to answer your questions

WHEN: 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon: Wednesday March 14, 2012 or Tuesday, April 10, 2012 (duplicate sessions ~ choose one)

WHERE: Palm Beach Extension – Exhibit Hall A, 559 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL

COST: Free of charge, but seating is limited.

REGISTRATION: Accepted via e-mail, mail, or fax: Download the Whitefly Workshops Flyer and Registration Form here.

CEUs: Pesticide Applicator and FNGLA CEUs requested

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly Adult, Juvenile, and Egg Stages. Click on photo for detail. UF Laura Sanagorski

As I write this article there are a number of Rugose Spiraling Whiteflies flying all over my office.  Although I’ve had samples coming across my desk for over a year, I still can’t get over how big these whiteflies are compared to the Ficus  and Bemisia – almost three times bigger.

HOSTS. This Whitefly was originally called the Gumbo Limbo Spiraling Whitefly, because we thought it was only going to feed and reproduce on that tree.  Unfortunately, we were wrong: the Spiraling Whitefly (now renamed Rugose) has a broad list of hosts, which seems to grow by the day.  The preferred hosts are Gumbo Limbo, White Bird of Paradise, Coconut Palm, Black Olive, Live Oak, and others.

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly. UF Laura Sanagorski

LIFECYCLE. The adult lays eggs in a telltale spiral pattern on the undersides of the leaves.  As with the other whiteflies, it is the young insects that cause the damage through their feeding activities.  The young stages of this insect feed on a plant’s fluids with piercing/sucking mouthparts (which causes stress to the shrub or tree).  A secondary problem is that feeding activities produce a sticky substance (called honeydew) which supports the growth of sooty mold and may cause a mess, especially if there are cars, sidewalks, etc., below.

LOCATION.  As of now, I’ve seen this spiraling whitefly throughout the entire Palm Beach county.  It has also been identified all over Broward and Miami Dade Counties for some time now.  

TREATMENT. Systemic insecticides in the neonicotinoid family are very effective against the Rugose Spiraling Whitefly.  We’ve seen some great results with basal bark and injection treatments.  Horticultural soaps and oils will reduce whitefly populations as well.

MORE INFORMATION. Please see Dr. Catharine Mannion’s factsheet on Rugose Spiraling Whitefly or Rugose Spiraling Whitefly Treatment in the Landscape power point presentation for more detail and for a list of recommended products.  Please continue to watch the IFAS Palm Beach County Extension: Environmental Horticulture blog and the Palm Beach County Whitefly Task Force website  for updates on everything related to whiteflies.

Introducing the Palm Beach County Whitefly Task Force

Healthy plant material - not just a thing of the past!

As you know, Ficus, Rugose Spiraling, and Silverleaf Whiteflies have become a major issue in South Florida.  Each has its own favorite plants to feed and reproduce on.  In addition to the damage younger stages of these whiteflies cause by feeding on plants, they produce a sticky substance called honeydew, which can support the growth of sooty mold, and ultimately, a big mess and unsightly plant material.

Difficulty associated with managing this pest is caused by a number of factors such as:

  • Inappropriate application methods or rates of pesticides (some labels can be extremely difficult to read for determining application rates for hedge materials)
  • Assumption that adult whiteflies are causing the damage (its actually the younger stages that cause the problem)
  • Misdiagnosis of whitefly problem or compounded plant stresses caused by recent harsh winds, drought, extremely cold winters, etc.

Whiteflies are not cause for severe alarm as they are just one of many pests that are or will become part of living in a subtropical climate.  They can be controlled with proper application of pesticides and by other organisms.  As a response to this family of pest problems, a Whitefly Working Group has been established to meet the needs of residents, professionals, and other decision-makers in Palm Beach County.  This working group is organized by University of Florida faculty and local industry.   Short and long-term management plans and educational materials are being developed by the team in conjunction with local media, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the United States Department of Agriculture–Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service–Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA–APHIS–PPQ).

Please watch the IFAS Palm Beach County Extension: Environmental Horticulture blog and our newly established  Palm Beach County Whitefly Taskforce webpage for updates.

Gumbo Limbo Spiraling Whitefly Renamed

The common name for the gumbo limbo spiraling whitefly has been changed to the rugose spiraling whitefly.  This has been officially approved by the Entomological Society of America, but will be on their website for comment for 30 days.

First discovered in 2009 in Miami-Dade County, the new whitefly is easily distinguishable by its large size and the distinct spiral pattern in which it lays its eggs.  It has a rather broad range of host plants, such as Gumbo Limbo, Mango, Coconut Palm, Live Oak, and Wax Myrtle, among others.

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly- previously Gumbo Limbo Spiraling Whitefly. UF Laura Sanagorski

Positive identification of the insect paired with symptoms such as presence of sooty mold, general plant decline, defoliation, and dieback may indicate an infestation.  Much research remains to be conducted on this new pest; current management options are similar to treatment of other whitefly species in the landscape.  Horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps can be used if the pest problem is small or detected early.  Insectides in the Neonicotinoid or Pyrethroid families are effective for large-scale applications and severe infestations.  Further information is available:

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