Whitefly Management by Michael Whitehead
With a vast amount of experience in turf and ornamentals, Michael Whitehead has been in the industry for over 30 years. He is currently a Helena branch manager in Delray Beach, Florida.
Why is Whitefly control necessary?
Controlling Whitefly is absolutely necessary. There are over 75 species of Whitefly in Florida alone, and the variety of agricultural crops, nursery plants, and residential areas are at risk. Without control methods, the damage caused by Whiteflies will result in nursery growers not being able to produce viable plants.
Are there any cultural steps that can be taken to prevent White fly or is it primarily environmental?
Cultural practices can make a significant difference in controlling Whitefly. Implementing a proper irrigation and fertilizer program and keeping the area clean of weeds can reduce the chance of Whiteflies damaging plants. Whiteflies are drawn to over 80 species of weeds, so keeping plants clear of these specific weeds will decrease the likelihood Whitefly infects the plants.
What have growers had the most success with in controlling whitefly?
The most successful method of control has been chemically. By using chemical rotation, growers are able to control the eggs, disrupting the life cycle of Whiteflies; and reducing the effects and number of Whiteflies. These rotations may include insect growth regulators, pyrethroids, organophosphates and neonicotinoids. A typical rotation involves drenching the neonicotinoids to achieve longer residual and a foliar spray of pyrethroids and/or organophosphates along with insecticidal soaps and insect growth regulators.
Overtime, have any species of Whitefly developed resistance to any of the mentioned chemistries?
Yes. We have seen some resistance develop with a few chemistries. Suppliers help educate growers and people in the industry about chemical rotation including other methods and products we can use to fight Whiteflies, successfully.
Contact your local Helena representative for more information.