Conservation biological control involves the careful selection and use of pesticides only when necessary to prevent pest damage. The presence of high numbers of onion thrips (especially in specific varieties such as “white magnum” and “feelin’ green”) helps explain why the grower’s usual biocontrol program wasn’t working. Insect growth regulators, when applied during the immature stages, prevent adult whitefly development. However, if monitoring reveals an increasing number of eggs and nymphs on young leaves and the weather conditions are favorable, intervention may be required to prevent future damage. Judicious use of insecticides not only will preserve natural enemies but will also reduce health and environmental risks. The wings are held in a rooflike position (about a 45-degree angle) over their bodies, whereas other whiteflies typically hold the wings nearly flat when at rest. Thrips numbers caught on monitoring cards were  higher than usual (Figure 1, below), and there was a lot more variation (difference) in thrips numbers between greenhouse sections (as indicated by the standard error bars in the graph). Table 1 lists some whitefly control products available to commercial ornamental producers, and Table 2 shows products available to homeowners. Accurate species identification and pest diagnosis to select proper control action. Huzzah! A few adults feeding on plants will usually not cause significant damage and do not warrant treatment. Wings overlap when at rest and are mottled with grey markings. Sampling (plant taps) by OMAFRA and University of Guelph student Ashley Summerfield showed that the thrips population was a roughly split between Western flower thrips and onion thrips – a fairly new pest we’ve been seeing in Ontario greenhouses. Eggs are pale yellow and turn pink before hatching. Nymphs and pupae are dark black, with a fringe of white wax filaments along the upper perimeter. Our 3 IN 1 CONCENTRATE is similar to Multipurpose Insect Killer but it includes a fungicide making it a “dual action” product. Control whiteflies on outdoor plants by introducing the whitefly's natural predators. Other species include the citrus blackfly (Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby), the citrus whitefly (Dialeurodes citri Ashmead) and the giant whitefly (Aleurodicus dugesii Cockerell). Common hosts include bamboo, begonia, bird of paradise, citrus, geranium, hibiscus, ivy, jasmine, morning glory, lantana, passion flower, philodendron and pittosporium. Consult your county Extension agent for additional help identifying a species. Whiteflies produce a sticky substance known as honeydew, on which sooty mould can develop. The Problem:  This grower started to see unusual and significant damage to the buds, blooms and some foliage of their cut mums in early February, despite having a robust mite-based biocontrol program. The Plan:  As mites, nematodes,  Beauveria applications and large amounts of mass trapping cards were not providing control, and the damage to the blooms was making many of the flowers unsellable, consultant Graeme Murphy (BioLogical Consulting) suggested quick action with pesticides was needed. The secret to effective whitefly management is to apply controls immediately when numbers reach this level. The adult is the most mobile stage and is responsible for colonizing the host plant. Whiteflies commonly attack vegetable and landscape plants and can be difficult to control. Citrus whiteflies are an occasional pest of citrus in southern Texas but may also attack ornamental plants and trees such as Boston ivy, chinaberry, laurel cherry, crepe myrtle, English ivy, gardenia, green ash, jasmine, osage orange, prickly ash, trumpet vine, water oak, persimmon and wild olive. This tolerance level varies according to the host plant and individual preferences. Break the whitefly reproductive cycle by having periods of time with no host plants in the greenhouse or garden. But to keep this new tool effective, growers will have to use this chemical wisely. Adults and nymphs feed by inserting their mouthparts into plant tissue and sucking phloem sap. Several different species of whiteflies damage plants, and gardeners need to know which is the best whitefly pesticide. Keep target areas free of weeds that can serve as whitefly hosts. Remove and destroy heavily infested plants from the landscape so they will not contaminate other plants. Females lay eggs in a characteristic spiral pattern. Grower Tools: Pesticide Tables, BMPs, Pest Keys etc. Silverleaf whitefly fourth instars are also known as “red-eye nymphs” because the relatively large eyes of the developing adult are already visible through the nymph integument (skin) during this stage. Resistance may be delayed by alternating the types of chemicals … Silverleaf whiteflies and, occasionally, greenhouse whiteflies may cause serious damage to plants. Their hosts include more than 500 species representing 74 plant families. Using pertinent information to decide when treatment is necessary. Removing infested leaves from plants may be enough to control small populations on less preferred hosts. Silverleaf whitefly pupae are oval, flattened (with tapering sides) and lack the marginal fringe of wax filaments common to other whiteflies. Further compounding this, the majority of our Western flower thrips populations in greenhouses come from imported cuttings, meaning they can arrive with resistance issues. Avoid frequent, long-term use of insecticides with the same mode of action because this may lead to the growth of populations of insects that are resistant to the chemicals. Integrated pest management (IPM) is a strategy to avoid or prevent pest damage with minimum adverse impact to human health, environment and non-target organisms. Soaps and oils are among the best alternatives for whitefly control by home owners because they are effective, preserve natural enemies and are relativ… Giant whitefly adults are about three times larger than other common whiteflies. A new pesticide is available  for greenhouse ornamental production in Canada that has shown potential for effective suppression of difficult-to-control thrips and whitefly species. Removing and destroying relatively few infested leaves may significantly reduce populations. A certain number of whiteflies may be tolerated when they do not cause significant damage. For several decades now, there have been few real chemical control options for Western flower thrips in Canadian floriculture, due to this pest’s overwhelming ability to become resistant to chemicals. Add 4-8 oz to a gallon of water to cover up to 500 sq/ft of plant foliage. Females lay eggs directly on the undersides of plant leaves. Their appearance resembles tiny, pure white “moths” but they are in fact, closely related to sap-sucking aphids. In addition to direct and indirect damage, whiteflies may carry and transmit viral diseases that can severely damage susceptible plants. Relatively large wax filaments project from their bodies; the number and length of these filaments varies with the host plant. A range of entomophagus insects, parasites, and some entomopathogenic fungi are used to control whitefly. Our pest problems will melt away! Careful monitoring of thrips numbers and species will be needed when Ference is used to determine it’s efficacy on individual farms. Both nymphs and adults are easily distinguished from other whitefly species by their dark color. Chemical control Use insecticides selectively, and alternate classes of insecticides to prolong use and to avoid chemical Adults are 0.8-1.2 millimeter long with white wings (without markings) and pale yellow bodies. Since whiteflies can be so difficult to control, combining cultural, biological, and chemical methods for the optimal level of whitefly treatment. Yellow Sticky traps – Whitefly are attracted to the colour yellow so by hanging yellow sticky traps near your affected plants will help control their populations. Organophosphate insecticides used alone provide no control for silverleaf whitefly. Insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils are contact insecticides that cause suffocation and desiccation of nymphs and adults. Although adults of some species have distinctive wing markings, many species are most readily distinguished in the last nymphal (immature) stage, which is wingless and lacks visible legs. Organic Whitefly Control Before trying more serious white fly treatments, you should begin with something very simple: blast your plants with water. Therefore, it is important to monitor plants frequently. Aphid-cast skins can easily be mistaken for whitefly, but whitefly will quickly flutter up and fly away when disturbed. Spraying with chemicals also destroys natural enemies or biological control agents that have been released. Whiteflies can damage plants directly or indirectly. Whitefly Control To prevent Whitefly infestation: Whitefly infestations can expand very rapidly, so preventative treatments are a great way to go. They are easily recognized and often found near the tops of plants or on stem ends. Classical biological control programs have been conducted against several whitefly species including silverleaf whitefly, citrus whitefly, citrus blackfly and giant whitefly. Initially, insecticides were used successfully for control, but the whitefly’s short life cycle means that resistance builds up quickly and new chemicals are constantly needed to control the pest. Females deposit eggs and wax in spiral patterns that appear as white concentric circles on the undersides of host plant leaves. When feasible, avoid growing susceptible plants of different ages together in one place or immediately replanting after harvest when pests from a previous crop may still be present. Most whitefly species have a narrow range of host plants, but the ones that are considered pests may feed on and damage many vegetable and field crops, greenhouse and nursery crops and house plants. Chemical Control. Parasitoids (insect parasites) of whiteflies include minute wasps (Encarsia and Eretmocerus) about 1 millimeter long and either yellow, dark brown or bicolor (brown head and yellow body), depending on the species. As of March of this year, it can now be used in Canada to control whitefly species on indoor and outdoor ornamentals (including cut flowers). Adults are about the same size as the silverleaf whitefly (0.9- 1.1 millimeter). Many compounds have been used, but the systemic Marathon (imadacloprid) has been used most frequently over the past few years. Thrips pictured here include western flower thrips (left), onion thrips (centre) and chrysanthemum thrips (right). Several species of predators and parasitoids are natural enemies of whiteflies. You can purchase yellow traps from nurseries and garden suppliers or you can make your own at home using laminated yellow paper or plastic smeared with a sticky substance like Paraffin Oil or Vaseline. The market is filled with toxic chemical sprays and it is easy to find a Whitefly chemical control. Virus symptoms include irregular ripening in tomatoes and blanching in carrots and broccoli. This is an occasional pest of crops and ornamental plants, especially hibiscus. Although there are approximately 1,200 species of whiteflies worldwide, only a few species are of economic importance. Biological Control. In addition to predators and parasitoids, whiteflies are naturally attacked by insect pathogens. Despite their name, whiteflies are not true flies (in the insect order Diptera) but are in the order Hemiptera, related to aphids, scales and mealybugs. Always check the product label for the list of plants that may be injured by the pesticide. Nymphs are oval and may be pale yellow to black, depending on the species. According to their results, Ference stacks up extremely well against other chemical options for Bemisia B-species. It is particularly useful in reducing whitefly populations in greenhouses, although it may also be used outside. It is important to thoroughly cover the underside of leaves and repeat applications. Management may be necessary only on plants that harbor eggs and nymphs. Using effective pest management tools, including tolerant species or varieties (when available), natural enemies and insecticides. • Monitor whitefly populations by using sticky traps and weekly inspections to detect early infestations. Nymphs and pupae secrete long cylindrical strands of wax extending up to two inches (50 millimeters) from the leaf surface. Successful IPM of whiteflies involves: Cultural control practices are aimed at avoiding or preventing whitefly infestations, eliminating sources of whiteflies and keeping whiteflies out of growing areas. They can be recognized by two irregularly shaped (in zig-zag pattern) gray bands on the front pair of wings. Homemade Whitefly Insecticide. This tendency leads giant whitefly populations to be initially clustered on a few plants, which helps a grower to manage them. How Do Chemical Insecticides Work as a Whitefly Treatment? Honeydew may cover plants and support the growth of sooty mold, which reduces the plant’s ability to use light for photosynthesis. Because of this resistance, a certain product may work well in one area but not in another. Water plants 1-2 days before applying pesticide. These products generally do not kill adult whiteflies present at the time of a treatment. The USDA recommends "an integrated program that focuses on prevention and relies on cultural and biological control methods when possible". A single female may lay 150-300 eggs during her lifetime. Several classes of insecticides are labeled for use against whiteflies on ornamental plants. Silverleaf whitefly feeding has been associated with several plant disorders, including silverleaf of squash, stem blanching and whitening of poinsettia and cruciferous vegetables, and irregular ripening of tomatoes. You can do preventative treatments in winter or cold months of the year with a garden oil to smother and eliminate overwintering whiteflies and their eggs. Keep reading for  efficacy data on ornamental crops and best management practices for incorporating this chemical into your IPM toolbox. Intervention may be physical/mechanical control, biological control or chemical control. Foliar damage by thrips can also be seen in the background. The more plants you inspect, the more likely you will be to detect problems sooner, when management is easier. One of the most effective ways to get rid of whitefly infestations is to introduce animals to your garden that will feed on the whiteflies, but not your plants. Their rapid reproduction rate makes them difficult to control once established. When present in large numbers, whitefly feeding can affect plant growth causing distortion, discoloration, yellowing or silvering of leaves. As many chrysanthemum growers in Ontario face a mix of both thrips species anyways, the distinction may be a moot point. Sometimes, a good hard spray with a hose will knock off the whitefly nymphs. Chemicals that have given some control of thrips in recent years include DDVP (dichlorvos), Pylon (chlorfenapyr) and sometimes Success (spinosad). To reduce the impact of insecticides on natural enemies, avoid the frequent use of broad-spectrum insecticides (those labeled against many pests) because these also kill predators and parasitoids. cyantraniliprole; known as Mainspring in the U.S. and Exirel for field crops in Canada), is considered soft on all predatory mites, according to Koppert’s pesticide side-effects database. Pupae are oval, slightly raised (with vertical sides) and have a fringe of wax filaments along the upper perimeter. Some species are dark with colored wing patterns. The grower sprayed successive greenhouse rows until all mum varieties received 2 applications of Ference by mid- March. Accumulation of these wax strands resembles fluffy-white hair. This allowed remaining mites in  sachets to get a foothold again, leading to a success story. There are two main drawbacks to this approach: 1) Whiteflies often develop a tolerance to the toxins, much like viruses mutate to make certain antibiotics ineffective. With poinsettia season just around the corner, some of you may recall the chart below from this post regarding effective chemicals for Bemisia whitefly in poinsettia. As they don’t move after the creeping phase, they will starve and die. The efficacy of pesticides registered in Canada for thrips control is likely dependent on the species present in your greenhouse, and their source. And, although compatible with mites, Ference may disrupt parasitoids or other biocontrol agents. Whitefly insecticides are products formulated to effectively kill whiteflies. Females of these tiny, parasitic wasps lay their eggs inside whitefly nymphs. Wingless nymphs are flattened, oval and almost scale-like in appearance. Eggs are occasionally laid in circular patterns on plants with smooth leaves. There are so many chemicals available on the market to control it lightly, but you can get rid of these small insects in an organic way too. Systemic insecticides can control both adults and nymphs. Adults have four broad wings of approximately the same size. Even IF Ference works on Bemisa this year, and continues to suppress thrips populations, resistance is a real threat with both of these pests. *At high curative rates. However, Ference (i.e. Whiteflies can move and disperse over long distances by flying upward and being picked up and carried by air currents. 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