Whiteflies

Order/Family: Homoptera/Aleyrodidae

Description:

  • These very small (1/16- to 1/8-inch) white fly-like insects differ from flies by have four wings instead of two.
  • The oval immobile nymphal stage is easier to use for identification:

◦  Azalea whitefly – yellowish green.

◦  Maple whitefly – pale yellow with gray bands.

◦  Mullberry whitefly – black with a white fringe.

 

Biology and Habits:

  • Females lay up to 100 eggs on the underside of the leaves.
  • The larvae attach to the leaf feeding on plant juices with their mouthparts as they mature over the next 30 days.
  • The adults are active fliers and also feed on the underside of the plant leaves. They can live for more than a month.
  • Mature nymphs overwinter on the leaves.
  • There are several generations per year.

 

Plants Attacked:

  • Azalea whitefly – azaleas.
  • Maple whitefly – maples.
  • Mullberry whitefly – holly, magnolia, maple, mountain laurel, and mullberry.

Damage:

  • As whiteflies feed on plant juices they secrete a sugary substance (honeydew) that, as it ages, produces a black sooty mold.
  • Damaged leaves first curl at the edges and turn yellow; heavily damaged leaves fall off.