August 1, 2022
Searles Gardening Team
What are Whitefly symptoms?
Whiteflies resemble tiny white moths, yet are actually relatives of aphids and mealy bugs and are a sap-sucking insect that congregate in large numbers on individual plants. There are over 20 species of whitefly in Australia and although can be found on ornamental plants, they are most commonly found on many vegetable species and congregate underneath the foliage. One particular species is found within enclosed greenhouses where many ornamental plant collections such as orchids, bromeliads and such are greatly targeted.
Whiteflies are easily spotted by witnessing small clouds of insects as they take flight on disturbance of plants. Whitefly breed and lay eggs on the underside of the foliage of plants and the newly emerged nymphs and adults cause discolouration of the leaves. Leaves turn a pale shade of yellow and often show streaking along veining. Being a sap-sucking insect, whitefly can easily and quickly transfer disease from one plant to another . They are most active during spring and summer and decline during cold weather, yet in warm districts with little or no cooler temperatures during winter, will still remain prevalent.
In greenhouses, physical barriers of fine netting may be required. Encouraging natural predators such as ladybirds and predatory wasps are very effective. Occasionally spraying water on the underside of the foliage (during daytime) can deter their presence and even the use of a vacuum in and around the foliage has shown to be good control. Organic oil based sprays can be used as a surfactant.
To control whitefly on vegetables, ornamentals, fruit trees and pot plants spray with Searles Organic Ecofend Vegetable and Garden spray.