As spring approaches, South Florida residents are on the lookout for the area’s largest nuisance invader—the whitefly. Since the early 2000s, two pesky species of whitefly have emerged in the region: the Ficus whitefly and the Rugose spiraling whitefly. While these two species have their unique traits, they both feed on leaves, injuring plants and damaging landscapes in West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas.
Whiteflies are expected to be even more invasive this year, which means homeowners should be extra-vigilant against these damaging pests. Here’s why the whitefly problem is so bad in Florida this year, and what you can do to prevent a whitefly infestation at your property.
The Whitefly Problem in Florida
Whiteflies love hot weather, and the lack of any real winter in Florida for the past several years may be to blame for the high population of these damaging insects. With few freezes this winter, whitefly populations show no signs of slowing down.
A dry winter has also reduced the number of natural fungal diseases that naturally reduce whitefly populations. Without moisture during the cooler months of the year, the diseases that keep whiteflies in check simply aren’t kicking in. The combination of warm, dry weather means that a difficult whitefly season is in store for Floridians this spring.
Signs of Whitefly Damage
How can you tell if whiteflies have invaded your landscape? Take a close look at your plants. Whiteflies gather in large numbers on the underside of leaves, damaging the plant by piercing the tissue and eating the sap. Like aphids and mealybugs, whiteflies excrete “honeydew,” a sticky substance that often attracts ants and creates a black, sooty mold on plants.
As whiteflies damage plants in your yard, you’ll notice leaves turning yellow or silvery. As the damage continues, the leaves will dry and drop from plants, and heavily infested plants will eventually die.
Be Proactive Against Whiteflies
The best way to control a whitefly invasion is to take early action at the first possible sign of the pest. If you’ve had whitefly problems in the past, this year is projected to be even worse. Be proactive to keep these nuisance pests from damaging your beautiful landscape by contacting the whitefly control experts, like the ones at Service Choice of West Palm Beach.
Our pioneering whitefly control treatments prevent both the Ficus whitefly and rugose spiraling whitefly from invading your landscape. Using root drenches, basil trunk treatments, or direct trunk injections, we apply high-performing insecticides to eliminate whitefly populations. In some cases, we supplement with foliar sprays, all while protecting beneficial insects that reduce whitefly populations naturally. The time to act against whiteflies is now! Call Service Choice of West Palm Beach today at (561) 734-9269 to schedule a free inspection and estimate of your property.