South Florida has new variety of whitefly referred to as Spiraling whitefly. This fly can affect a wide variety of Florida’s beautiful tropical plants such as:
- Gumbo Limbo
- Black Olive Trees
- Mango trees
- A wide variety of Palms
- Live oak, some shrubs such as copperleaf, cocoplum and wax myrtle
- And many others
What to look for:
White spirals and a buildup of a white, waxy substance on the underside of leaves. This substance coats the eggs and immature whiteflies. If spiraling whitefly populations build-up greatly, infested plants can become covered with the white, waxy substance.
This can sometimes become weakened and also be disfigured by the black sooty mold that grows on the insect’s excrement (referred to as honeydew).
Plants are not the only victim of spiraling whiteflies. Swimming pools are also effected where there are infestations. Spiraling whiteflies deplete chlorine in pools and cause filter clogging which leads to cloudy pools. The sticky honeydew mess whiteflies produce can accumulate on cars or outdoor patio furniture if under an infested tree or plant.