Whitefly Identification & Prevention

Use our pest guide to learn about whiteflies and why keeping them away from your property is so important to the health of your plants.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Whiteflies

White flies on a leaf

What are whiteflies?

Despite their name and moth-like appearance, the whitefly is neither a fly nor a moth. These insects are closely related to sap-sucking aphids and are common garden pests. Both adults and larvae feed on plant juices and cause damage to plants.

When the whitefly larvae hatch from their eggs, they resemble tiny white legless ovals. Adult whiteflies have yellowish bodies and four white, moth-like wings. Covering the body and wings is a protective whitish wax.

If you are ever walking through your gardens or flowerbeds and notice white moth-like insects fluttering up and away from plants, take immediate action and contact us for pest and lawn care services in Cape Coral.

Are whiteflies dangerous?

Whiteflies are dangerous to the plants they are using as a food source. These insects can cause several different types of harm to plants they use as a food source.

As they feed, these insects injure plants by sucking juices from them. Their feeding habits cause the leaves of plants to turn yellow, dry up, and drop from the plant. If enough of a plant’s leaves are injured and drop prematurely, it causes plant death.

During the feeding process, whiteflies can transmit several viruses through their mouthparts. Viruses weaken plants and sometimes cause them to die.

Like other aphids and garden pests, whiteflies produce honeydew. Honeydew is a sticky waste product that coats the leaves of its host plants. Honeydew attracts ants and other pests to your plants and allows sooty mold to grow. A large amount of dark sooty mold will reduce the ability of the sun’s necessary rays to reach the leaves.

Why do I have a whitefly problem?

Florida is a state where whitefly infestations are common. Our warm temperatures allow them to reproduce quickly and in large numbers. Whiteflies need to sustain large populations to prevent them from being wiped out by common predators like spiders, ladybugs, and small birds. Because of their large numbers, these insects are frustrating and challenging to control. Whiteflies quickly move from plant to plant, causing lasting damage.

Where will I find whiteflies?

You will find whiteflies anywhere there are plants they can use as breeding sites and food sources. Females lay their tiny white eggs on the underside of leaves. A single female can produce around 400 eggs in her lifetime.

Plants most likely to attract the attention of the whitefly include many ornamental plants, vegetable plants, and some weeds. These insects regularly infest Cape Coral properties on their own after being attracted by suitable host plants. However, they can also be introduced accidentally by homeowners who have purchased infected plants from nurseries. While the whitefly is typically an outdoor pest, it can become a problem indoors when infected potted plants are brought inside.

How do I get rid of whiteflies?

If you are regularly seeing whiteflies fluttering around your lawn and gardens, we can help. Here at Coastal Lawn and Pest, we offer effective home pest control and lawn care in Cape Coral. Our professionals will accurately identify the insects present, perform state-of-the-art pest control treatments, and help guard your property against whiteflies and other pests. We are a local company that understands the pest control needs of people living in Cape Coral and the surrounding communities. By working together to control insects and maintain the health of your lawn, your outdoor space will look and feel its best!

How can I prevent whiteflies in the future?

Partnering with a lawn care professional is the easiest way to prevent issues with whiteflies. For added protection, utilize the following whitefly prevention tips:

  • Use a reflective mulch in garden areas which helps to repel white flies. 
  • Remove ornamental plants and trees from your property that regularly attract whiteflies.
  • Remove infected leaves from plants.
  • Control weeds on your property because several types of weeds attract whiteflies.
  • Inspect new plants carefully for signs of whiteflies before purchasing them and bringing them onto your property. 

To successfully get rid of whiteflies from your property and stop them from returning in the future, contact us now!

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