If your beautiful ornamentals appear wilted or have stunted growth, the problem might be whiteflies. A whitefly infestation can cause severe damage to your plants, and they can be incredibly difficult to control. West Palm Beach pest control companies know how much harm these tiny pests can cause and how difficult whitefly control can be.
Accurate identification is the first place to start with any garden pest. We’ll review how to identify whiteflies properly, what attracts them to your yard, and most especially, how to prevent whiteflies in the first place. If you have been trying to eradicate these pests, you have likely discovered how difficult that can be. Read on to learn more about whiteflies and what you can do about them.
How To Properly Identify Whiteflies On Your Property
To understand how to get rid of whiteflies, we first need to identify them properly. Whitefly is a confusing name for this pest as they are not flies but belong to the same group of insects as aphids. They don’t look like flies but more like tiny white moths that are only 1/20 of an inch long. Their name comes from the powdery white wax covering the adults’ bodies and wings.
Whitefly eggs are oblong and usually attached to a leaf’s underside by a stalk. They may be smooth or appear honeycombed and often form circular or semicircular concentric rows.
After they emerge from the eggs, they crawl around for a short time and begin feeding on the leaves, remaining in the same spot until they reach adulthood. The moment they start to feed, the whitefly damage begins. At every stage, they suck the plant’s juices from its leaves and excrete excess liquid in the form of honeydew.
What Causes Whiteflies To Gather?
The following are specific conditions that increase the likelihood of a whitefly infestation in your yard:
- Warm weather: Whiteflies are prolific breeders, and their numbers can quickly multiply, especially in warmer weather. During the hottest part of the summer, these pests can go from egg to reproductive adult in just 16 days.
- Lack of beneficial insects: Insecticides can inadvertently remove beneficial insects that are enemies of whiteflies. One of the most important is a tiny parasitic wasp that lays its eggs inside whiteflies. In addition, small birds, spiders, and ladybugs can help control whitefly populations.
- Lack of monitoring: Regularly monitoring your ornamentals for whitefly eggs and adults can help you to get rid of whiteflies before they become unmanageable.
- Excessive pruning: Over pruning stimulates new growth that is attractive to whiteflies.
- Over-fertilizing: Products high in nitrogen also stimulate new growth; using slow-release organic fertilizers can help prevent whitefly damage.
A pest control company with experience in whitefly control can help you learn how to keep whiteflies away from plants.
What Kind Of Things Attract Whiteflies?
To understand how to prevent whiteflies, it helps to know what attracts them in the first place. Different species are attracted to different host plants and ornamentals. Here are the hosts in your yard that they find most attractive:
- Palm trees
- Ficus hedges
- Hibiscus plants
- Mulberry trees
Professional whitefly treatment can help save these plants from sometimes irreversible whitefly damage.
Effective Whitefly Removal In West Palm Beach
Whiteflies can be challenging pests to eliminate. The most effective way to eradicate them is to team up with a home pest control company like Empire Pest Defense, which has experience in whitefly control.
Our technicians know how to keep whiteflies away from plants and the best whitefly treatments available. Contact us today to get your free estimate and keep your beautiful plants and ornamentals safe from these destructive pests.