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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!

Noticing your plants aren’t looking as healthy as they should? You may have a whitefly infestation on your hands. These nuisance pests are prevalent throughout South Florida since they can overwinter and reproduce throughout the year, and they feed on both outdoor and indoor plants. Here’s how to identify a whitefly infestation, and how you can get rid of these damaging pests once and for all.

What Are Whiteflies?

Whiteflies are tiny, soft-bodied, winged insects that are similar to aphids and mealybugs—two other harmful pests that are common throughout Florida. They’re white in color and somewhat triangular in shape. Typically, you’ll find whiteflies grouped in clusters on the underside of leaves. They can rapidly reproduce outdoors in early summer as the weather gets warm and humid, and they snack on a white variety of plants in your garden—from ornamental flowers to warm-weather vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and okra.

How to Identify Whiteflies

If your plants are becoming weak and the leaves start wilting or turning pale or yellow, a whitefly infestation may be to blame. Check the underside of the leaves of your plants not just for these tiny white bugs, but also for the honeydew they leave behind. This sticky substance often leads to fungal diseases on leaves, including sooty mold. If you find honeydew on your plants’ leaves, it’s a good indication that whiteflies have been feeding for several days and you’re likely dealing with an infestation.

How to Get Rid of Whiteflies

There are various methods of controlling whiteflies, but most of them only work if you catch the infestation very early. Whiteflies reproduce rapidly, so it can be hard to stay on top of an infestation before these pesky insects do damage to every plant in your yard. Here are some DIY whitefly control methods to try:

  • Start by blasting whiteflies with your watering hose. This often causes them to scatter, and it may dislodge nymphs and eggs to an extent. 
  • Apply insecticidal soap on the leaves of your plants, making sure to follow all manufacturer’s directions. Spray the underside of leaves and re-apply two to three times if necessary. Remember that it’s best to spray plants in the evenings since applying during the heat of the day can do damage to plants. Spraying in the evening also helps you avoid accidentally spraying beneficial insects, like whitefly natural predators and pollinators.
  • Use a simple mixture of dish soap and water and spray the plants late in the day. This benign combination can help keep whitefly populations low without doing damage to your plants.

Whitefly Control Isn’t a DIY Job

Once whiteflies have set up shop in your yard, they’re nearly impossible to get rid of. That’s where the whitefly control experts at Service Choice of West Palm Beach can help. Using eco-friendly treatment methods—including preservation of natural predators—we can eliminate even the most widespread whitefly infestations and keep them from returning. Call us today at (561) 734-9269 to schedule your free consultation!

Whiteflies are a year-round problem in Florida, and when they invade your garden, they’re very difficult to get rid of. While whiteflies don’t bite people, they’re happy to feast on the plants in your garden, sucking the sap from plant leaves as they lay more eggs and reproduce. But do whiteflies carry disease? The truth is whiteflies can transmit several major plant and vegetable viruses. Here’s what you need to know about these troublesome pests, and how you can control them.

What Are Whiteflies?

Whiteflies are soft-bodied, winged insects that are white in color. These bugs can be as tiny as 1/12 of an inch long, looking like tiny white triangles as they travel across the plants in your garden.

In South Florida, whiteflies do major damage to ornamental plants and trees, sucking the sap right out of the leaves. Many of these plants–especially ficus hedges–are used for privacy and leaving the plants with no leaves eliminates the privacy homeowners enjoy.

If you have a vegetable garden, you should be on the lookout for whiteflies. They’re fond of warm-weather vegetable plants like cabbage, eggplant, peppers, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. If you notice these bugs on your plants and do nothing, you’d be surprised at how quickly they can reproduce. In the spring and summer in South Florida, rising temperatures speed up the whitefly life cycle even more, so they have the potential to ruin your garden very quickly.

Whiteflies Can Transmit Viruses

In addition to the damage they cause from sucking out the sweet sap of plant leaves, whiteflies also inject salivary fluids while feeding. The viruses they carry can cause plant disorders and transmit plant viruses. So, keeping whitefly populations under control not only keeps the plants in your own garden healthy, but it also protects plants in your region’s entire ecosystem.

Whiteflies Are Difficult to Control

Once whiteflies have infested and begun to multiply, they’re extremely hard to get rid of. In many cases, they’re even resistant to pesticides. You can take some proactive steps to prevent a whitefly infestation, like:

  • Encouraging natural predators of whiteflies, like ladybugs, spiders, and dragonflies, by creating a habitat that’s attractive to them. In some situations, this can also reduce the mosquito population in your yard.
  • Ensuring that your irrigation system is providing sufficient water to your plants’ roots, so plants aren’t stressed and prone to whitefly defoliation.
  • Mulching early in the season with aluminum reflective mulch, making it harder for whiteflies to find host plants.

What to Do If Whiteflies Invade Your Yard

If you’ve spotted whiteflies on your plants, don’t wait to act. It can be difficult to deal with a whitefly infestation on your own, and chemicals advertised to kill whiteflies often end up killing beneficial insects. At the first sign of a whitefly infestation, call the whitefly removal experts at Service Choice of South Florida at (954) 568-9955. After your free consultation, we’ll create a customized treatment plan that lets you say goodbye to whiteflies for good. 

Whiteflies are an annual problem for Ft. Lauderdale homeowners. These nuisance pests can rapidly explode in population and cause serious infestations in your yard. Once an infestation takes hold, whiteflies can be challenging to eliminate. Many homeowners wonder if they can get rid of whiteflies on their own. DIY efforts rarely work, and the problem needs to be spotted very early. Here’s how to identify whiteflies, and home remedies you can use to treat an infestation.

What Are Whiteflies?

Despite the name, whiteflies aren’t true “flies;” rather, they’re more closely related to insects like aphids, mealybugs, and scale. These winged, soft-bodied insects feed on plant sap, causing leaf damage that can quickly kill a plant. For example, unlike black flies (horseflies), whiteflies will only damage our plants, instead of humans or animals.

Homeowners should be vigilant against whiteflies since they return year after year to Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding area. While it’s best to leave pest identification to the experts, take a close look at your plants during whitefly season (which is nearly year-round in South Florida). Look for insects that are moth-like in appearance, 1/16th of an inch in length, and feature gray-white coloring.

Home Remedies for Whiteflies

If you’ve determined whiteflies are present in your yard, there are some home remedies you can try to control the population. While it’s best to leave whitefly control to the experts, here are some tips to remove whiteflies from your yard and protect your plants:

  1. Spray with water: As an early defense against whiteflies (when populations are low), gently spray plants with water. This dislodges whitefly eggs and nymphs. Since nymphs don’t move after an initial creeping phase, they’ll starve and die when they’re removed from their food source.
  2. Attract natural predators: Natural pest control is always a good thing, so introducing or attracting natural whitefly predators can help control whitefly populations. Natural enemies include dragonflies, green lacewings, ladybugs, and whitefly parasite wasps. You can create a habitat that attracts and supports these insects, and plant flowers to attract hummingbirds, another natural whitefly predator.
  3. Use horticultural oil: Horticultural oils, like neem oil, are often effective against whiteflies. It kills whiteflies at all life stages and discourages black sooty mold, too. Neem oil is a natural remedy that’s safe for humans and pets when used correctly.

Home Remedies Rarely Work Against the Whitefly—Get Help From the Experts Instead

Whiteflies are a year-round concern for Florida homeowners, and home remedies are rarely effective against them. If you want to protect your beautiful landscape from these damaging pests, working with the experts in whitefly control is the only option. At Service Choice of Ft. Lauderdale, we offer proven-effective, eco-friendly whitefly treatment programs that remove whitefly populations and keep them from coming back, so you can enjoy peace of mind that your landscape is well-protected. Call us today at (954) 568-9955 to schedule a free inspection and estimate for your property.