Living in Florida means dealing with a variety of pests that may sometimes make you wish for a cool winter day. One of the most common and damaging of these pests is whiteflies. You may have wondered if there’s a connection between their presence and the warm, humid weather that Florida is notorious for. Read on to learn about what attracts whiteflies, how to spot an infestation, and what you should do if you have one.
Whiteflies Love Warm Weather
Are whiteflies really attracted to warm, humid climates? In short, yes—whiteflies are indeed attracted to these conditions. While scientists have yet to fully unravel the science behind this phenomenon, it is believed that warm temperatures increase the activity of whiteflies, allowing them to reproduce more rapidly. Additionally, the heat causes the release of certain chemicals in plants, which whiteflies use as signals to locate their hosts.
Whatever the reason may be for the whitefly’s attraction to hot temperatures, gardeners should be aware of the impact of warm weather on whitefly populations. It all starts with being vigilant when it comes to the presence of these damaging pests in your garden.
Signs of a Whitefly Infestation
Florida gardeners know the joy of maintaining a beautiful and healthy garden, but all your hard work can easily go to waste when whiteflies infest your garden. These pests may look small, but they can cause a significant amount of damage to your plants. Here are some of the common signs of a whitefly infestation in your Florida garden:
- Sticky Substance on Plants: One of the first signs of a whitefly infestation in your garden is a sticky substance on your plants’ leaves. This is called ‘honeydew,’ which is a sugary substance excreted by whiteflies. Honeydew attracts ants and other pests to your garden and allows fungal growth on your plants. It also causes your plants’ leaves to turn black, which reduces their ability to photosynthesize, making the plant weaker and susceptible to diseases.
- Black Fungus: When honeydew remains on a plant long enough, it attracts a black fungus called sooty mold. The fungus will coat your leaves and prevent them from getting proper sunlight, which will stunt your plant’s growth. You can notice this black mold developing on the top of the leaves, beneath the bottom, or even in the surrounding soil.
- Whitefly Sightings: If you see tiny white insects flying around your plants’ leaves, it’s a clear sign that your garden is infested with whiteflies. You may see them in clusters underneath the leaves. These winged pests are about 1/16th inch long and usually fly up in a swarm when disturbed.
- Yellowed Leaves: When whiteflies suck sap from your plants, it will cause your plants’ leaves to turn yellow and become dry and brittle. You may notice the leaves curling up or falling off, which makes your plants look sickly and unsightly. Whiteflies feed on the phloem, removing the plants’ nutrients that are essential for growth.
Call Service Choice at the First Sign of a Whitefly Infestation
Growing a lush and vibrant garden is a labor of love. It requires dedication and hard work. However, when whiteflies invade, all your efforts can go to waste in a snap. These tiny, yet destructive bugs can leave your plants looking sickly and stunted in no time. While DIY methods may seem like a quick fix, they often fall short in controlling whiteflies.
Ensure that your garden won’t be ruined by these pests by calling the experts in whitefly control at Service Choice of Ft. Lauderdale We have the experience and proven methods to eliminate whiteflies once and for all. Call us today at (954) 568-9955 to say goodbye to the pesky whitefly for good!