In the adult stage, it is a small white winged insect that can be seen when the ficus hedges or branches are disturbed. The whiteflies feed on the undersides of the leaves and therefore are not easily seen. They have needle-like mouthparts that are inserted into the leaves to drain the life out of the plant. The immature stages, eggs and nymphs, are also located on the undersides of the leaves. Before they develop into adults, the nymphs appear to be tan and green discs with redish eyes.
The whitefly infestaion and the resulting damage causes hedges and trees to wilt, yellow, drop leaves or possibly, death. Treatment: Research is underway to study and control the whitefly. Presently, a very effective way to control this pest is using a systemic insecticide. Environmental Pest Systems applies the systemic insecticide along with a natural liquid fertilizer mixture to the leaves, branches and a soil drench for the roots. In severe cases a granular systemic insecticide is also applied. It is essential to know that the afflicted ficus hedge or tree may need booster treatments during the recovery period. As part of our recovery plan for the ficus hedge, we provide the afflicted foliage with vital nutrients to enure positive results.
Now there is another white fly making its presence felt rapidly in south florida, the gumbo limbo spiraling whitefly.Although this whitefly is large and slow moving, it will infest a broad range of plants such as gumbo limbo, bananas, black olive, mango,areca and coconut palms, live oak, cocoplum, wax myrtle and some other plants. Check these plants by looking on the underside of the leaves. for white spirals and a white waxy substance which forms causing excessive sooty mold. Recently, this white fly has begun attacking areca palms, and bird of paradise.
A third whitefly, called the nesting whitefly, has recently emerged onto the scene. This whitefly is predominately atacking ficus. It is easy to idenify becuse it sits in theh middle of waxy residue and honeydew giving the appearence that it is in the middle of a circle of white feathers. Ficus was once considered a near indestructible plant but the whiteflies have fond the plant\\\'s Achilles heel. If the problem is evident in your yard and you need assistance, we offer treatments to arrest the whiteflies.
For ficus hedges, small plants and bird of paradise, we offer a liquid or a granular treatment, to stop the white flies.This treatment is applied as a soil drench and is taken up by the root system. It can take two to four weeks for the treatment to reach the top of the hedge, tree or palm and begin eliminating the white flies.This treatment can last an average of three months. For established trees, such as the gumbo limbo and large palms such as coconut palms, an injection system is available. A small shallow hole is drilled into the tree or palm. A self sealing plug is inserted and a concentrated liquid dose is injected with a syringe. This product and technique will go to work in one to three days and may last as long as nine months.