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Whitefly Control & Treatment
It can be very frustrating when your plants begin to wilt, yellow, or die and you can’t seem to see the source. Some garden and greenhouse pests are so tiny that they can be really hard to identify. Mites, aphids, and scales can cause lots of damage, and whiteflies are no different. Whiteflies, like aphids and mites, suck the sap out of leaves and in large numbers can be very difficult to control. Being able to identify these insects and the signs of their damage can save your plants and help you in your whitefly control measures.
How to Get Rid of Whiteflies
Since whiteflies can be so difficult to control, combining cultural, biological, and chemical methods for the optimal level of whitefly treatment. With in infestation, you will want to know how to kill whiteflies, and using parts of all of these methods will help you to do that.
Whitefly Identification and Life Cycle
Whiteflies are tiny, sap-sucking insects frequently found on vegetable plants and ornamental plants. Like aphids, they excrete a sticky “honeydew” substance that attracts ants. Adult whiteflies are very small, 1//10 to 1/16th of an inch long. They look like small, white moths with a powdery wax covering their wings. Females lay 200 to 400 eggs. These insects go through four nymphal stages. The first stage is called the “crawler” stage, as you will see these tiny whiteflies on plants, moving slowly across leaves to feed. In the final stage before adulthood, the nymphs lose their wings and legs and attach themselves to leaves with wax protrusions.
Whiteflies have a wide range of hosts. When whiteflies infest plants in large populations, they can turn leaves yellow and dry and cause leaves to drop off. Some species cause distortion, silvering, and discoloration, and can cause serious losses. The honeydew secretions serve as a growing medium for sooty black mold, which can be damaging. Low levels of these pests don’t cause significant damage, and fruit trees are usually unaffected. Some species in certain areas of the country can transmit plant pathogens. Often times whiteflies become a problem when the natural enemies of whiteflies – lacewings, big eyed bugs, minute pirate buts, some lady beetles and some Asian beetles – get disrupted.
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