Thrips pictured here include western flower thrips (left), onion thrips (centre) and chrysanthemum thrips (right). Eggs are oblong, smooth and yellow to amber brown and are laid randomly on the underside of leaves. Pupae are oval, slightly raised (with vertical sides) and have a fringe of wax filaments along the upper perimeter. Photo credit: A. Summerfield (UofG). Removing and destroying relatively few infested leaves may significantly reduce populations. As of March of this year, it can now be used in Canada to control whitefly species on indoor and outdoor ornamentals (including cut flowers). Keep target areas free of weeds that can serve as whitefly hosts. The presence of high numbers of onion thrips (especially in specific varieties such as “white magnum” and “feelin’ green”) helps explain why the grower’s usual biocontrol program wasn’t working. Bandedwinged whiteflies will feed on several weeds and ornamental plants but will reproduce on only a few of them. This tolerance level varies according to the host plant and individual preferences. Since whiteflies can be so difficult to control, combining cultural, biological, and chemical methods for the optimal level of whitefly treatment. cyantraniliprole; known as Mainspring in the U.S. and Exirel for field crops in Canada), is considered soft on all predatory mites, according to Koppert’s pesticide side-effects database. Nymphs are greenish-yellow, oval and flat. You can do preventative treatments in winter or cold months of the year with a garden oil to smother and eliminate overwintering whiteflies and their eggs. With poinsettia season just around the corner, some of you may recall the chart below from this post regarding effective chemicals for Bemisia whitefly in poinsettia. Learn the different species of whiteflies that commonly attack the plants you are trying to protect and the natural enemies of whiteflies that may be common in your area. However, this biocontrol agent is VERY sensitive to chemicals, including Ferrence. Whitefly control is difficult and complex, as whiteflies rapidly develop resistance to chemical pesticides. Many overlapping generations can occur each year. We show you how to get rid of white flies and aphids organically and easily in your garden without the use of any insecticides or pesticides. What silver bullets they were going to be! cdpr.ca.gov/docs/ipminov/bensupp.htm. With in infestation, you will want to know how to kill whiteflies, and using parts of all of these methods will help you to do that. They are easily recognized and often found near the tops of plants or on stem ends. Click for a hub of Extension resources related to the current COVID-19 situation. Parasitoids (insect parasites) of whiteflies include minute wasps (Encarsia and Eretmocerus) about 1 millimeter long and either yellow, dark brown or bicolor (brown head and yellow body), depending on the species. The eggs are oblong and smooth and may be laid irregularly or in neat circles on the leaves, depending on the host plant species. The USDA recommends "an integrated program that focuses on prevention and relies on cultural and biological control methods when possible". Recommended release rates in the greenhouse vary with whitefly population density from three wasps per 2 m2 ( 2 per 15 ft.2) every 1-2 weeks, starting at first sign of whitefly presence, to three or more weekly introductions of three to nine wasps per m2 (10 ft.2) when whitefly populations are initially established, to weekly releases of one to three wasps per plant for highly susceptible crops like poinsettia. Thank you to the growers and consultants who shared data to make this post possible, as well as to A. Summerfield (University of Guelph) for helping with sample collection and identifying all thrips species. Make sure the plants are free of whiteflies before putting them with established plants. But, results vary highly between thrips populations at different farms and on different crops. If you’re looking for other ways to control whiteflies, chemical pesticides are not always the best solution. Several species of predators and parasitoids are natural enemies of whiteflies. Avoid excess irrigation and fertilization, which may increase the susceptibility of plants to whiteflies. Homemade Whitefly Insecticide. Whiteflies ("whitefly" or "white fly") are common pests of indoor crops, greenhouses and tomatoes. Giant whitefly adults are about three times larger than other common whiteflies. Judicious use will extend the useful life of pesticides and at the same time, delay build-up of resistance. Yes, the chemical insecticide will get rid of the whitefly … The adult is the most mobile stage and is responsible for colonizing the host plant. Pupae have a dark area in the upper surface of the integument, which distinguishes them from the pupae of greenhouse whiteflies. Citrus blackfly and citrus whitefly are two species that are controlled well by native and introduced natural enemies and generally do not require treatment. Therefore, it is important to monitor plants frequently. Heavy feeding damage (white streaks) and distorted petals caused by thrips feeding at the bud stage on cut chrysanthemums. As many chrysanthemum growers in Ontario face a mix of both thrips species anyways, the distinction may be a moot point. To implement cultural control you should: Whiteflies, like many other pests, reproduce very rapidly. Nymphs and pupae are similar to those of the silverleaf whitefly but are much rounder in shape. Delphastus (the small black beetle in both pictures) is predator of whitefly eggs, and is especially useful for control of Bemisia whitefly in poinsettia crops. Grower Tools: Pesticide Tables, BMPs, Pest Keys etc. The late fourth instar is also known as “pupa” because mobile adults emerge from the exoskeleton of sessile nymphs after development is complete. Several different species of whiteflies damage plants, and gardeners need to know which is the best whitefly pesticide. Augmentation biological control has been effective in controlling whiteflies in greenhouse ornamental production. Growers will have to be judicious in their use, and save this product for when pest suppression is a REAL necessity (i.e. Chemical registrations and permits Their appearance resembles tiny, pure white “moths” but they are in fact, closely related to sap-sucking aphids. Direct damage is caused through their feeding, which removes plant sap and stunts plant growth, especially in young plants. Although yellow sticky traps sold at garden stores may be used to detect when and where whitefly adults are occurring, they are not useful in estimating population density on plants. How Do Chemical Insecticides Work as a Whitefly Treatment? Careful monitoring of thrips numbers and species will be needed when Ference is used to determine it’s efficacy on individual farms. However, if monitoring reveals an increasing number of eggs and nymphs on young leaves and the weather conditions are favorable, intervention may be required to prevent future damage. They usually combat the whiteflies along with a wide range of other common garden pests. At the time of that posting in Fall 2019, Ference wasn’t yet registered for ornamentals in Canada. It is particularly useful in reducing whitefly populations in greenhouses, although it may also be used outside. All developmental stages secrete wax, and in nymphs (immatures), the appearance of accumulated wax filaments and plates is used in species identification. Accumulation of these wax strands resembles fluffy-white hair. The grower sprayed successive greenhouse rows until all mum varieties received 2 applications of Ference by mid- March. Most of the predators used feed on the eggs and nymphs of the whitefly. The more plants you inspect, the more likely you will be to detect problems sooner, when management is easier. Relatively large wax filaments project from their bodies; the number and length of these filaments varies with the host plant. Chemical ControlInsecticides are the primary method used to control whiteflies. Nymphs are oval and may be pale yellow to black, depending on the species. Yellow Sticky traps – Whitefly are attracted to the colour yellow so by hanging yellow sticky traps near your affected plants will help control their populations. Even IF Ference works on Bemisa this year, and continues to suppress thrips populations, resistance is a real threat with both of these pests. High-pressure water sprays are recommended at least once a week for three consecutive weeks and can be repeated as necessary. Our sampling on the second date was likely biased towards onion thrips, as we were focusing on varieties with the most damage. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Whiteflies have shown an ability to develop resistance to many pesticides. Silverleaf whitefly fourth instars are also known as “red-eye nymphs” because the relatively large eyes of the developing adult are already visible through the nymph integument (skin) during this stage. Eggs are usually laid on the underside of young leaves and may be deposited randomly throughout the leaf, in circles, arcs or spirals, depending on the species. Spores from the fungal pathogen Beauveria bassiana, which causes white-muscardine disease in insects, have been formulated into insecticidal products (see Table 1). Photo courtesy of A. Summerfield (UofG). Nymphs and pupae are dark black, with a fringe of white wax filaments along the upper perimeter. See the guide below for chemical control options for SLW: Insecticide permits for silverleaf whitefly control in Queensland - 2011 (PDF, 20 kB). Once you have detected whiteflies on plants, accurate species identification is essential in deciding whether or not further action is required and what treatment to use. Predators of whiteflies include ladybeetles (Delphastus and Nephaspis), green lacewings (Chrysopa and Chrysoperla), minute pirate bugs (Orius), big eyed bugs (Geocoris) and damsel bugs (Nabis). Soaps and oils are among the best alternatives for whitefly control by home owners because they are effective, preserve natural enemies and are relativ… Sometimes, a good hard spray with a hose will knock off the whitefly nymphs. The eggs hatch into mobile first instars called crawlers, which search and find a suitable feeding site. A range of entomophagus insects, parasites, and some entomopathogenic fungi are used to control whitefly. Avoid frequent, long-term use of insecticides with the same mode of action because this may lead to the growth of populations of insects that are resistant to the chemicals. Inspect the undersides of old and new leaves weekly for all whitefly stages. Insect growth regulators, when applied during the immature stages, prevent adult whitefly development. Chemical controls – When whitefly numbers reach a point where insecticides must be used in order to avoid significant damage, this is known as the ‘action threshold’. According to their results, Ference stacks up extremely well against other chemical options for Bemisia B-species. Break the whitefly reproductive cycle by having periods of time with no host plants in the greenhouse or garden. This tendency leads giant whitefly populations to be initially clustered on a few plants, which helps a grower to manage them. Delphastus pusillus is the most whitefly-specific predator available. So if your plants have been suffering with a fungus or mold related to the whitefly activity, use this option. Chemical Control. The secret to effective whitefly management is to apply controls immediately when numbers reach this level. Spiraling whitefly larvae Spiraling whitefly on an acalypha leaf Pest management The whitefly is able to build up a resistance to most chemical pesticides and should not be treated with these. Our pest problems will melt away! 2) Pesticides are indiscriminate killers. Huzzah! Eretmocerus eremicus is the most effective parasitoid available for biological control of silverleaf whitefly, while Encarsia formosa is effective for treating the greenhouse whitefly. The purchase and release of natural enemies is also known as augmentation biological control. Biological control can be achieved by importing and releasing natural enemies from areas where pests originate, by purchasing and releasing commercially available natural enemies or by conserving naturally occurring ones. Soaps and oils are among the best alternatives for whitefly control by home owners because they are effective, preserve natural enemies and are relatively safe. Use a magnifying lens (10X) to facilitate observation. Adults (1/16 inch long) are moth-like insects with powdery white wings and short antenna. Thrips populations as a results of weekly importation of cuttings may not see the same effect due to potential resistance. Whitefly is plant-sucking insects, which usually found in Indoor plants, Vegetable, and greenhouse plants. Importing natural enemies—also known as classical biological control—involves coordinated efforts of university, state and federal scientists and regulators. It is important to thoroughly cover the underside of leaves and repeat applications. Eggs are pale yellow and turn pink before hatching. The silverleaf whitefly is the most economically important whitefly species in Texas. Record the number of whiteflies per plant or the percentage of plants infested. For more information on Texas insects and entomology, see http://insects.tamu.edu. The market is filled with toxic chemical sprays and it is easy to find a Whitefly chemical control. Whiteflies migrate from alternate hosts because numbers have become too high or the crop is being harvested (e.g., after cotton defoliation). Their hosts include more than 500 species representing 74 plant families. Foliar damage by thrips can also be seen in the background. There are so many chemicals available on the market to control it lightly, but you can get rid of these small insects in an organic way too. However, we all know control of Bemisia whitefly, especially in Poinsettia, doesn’t come without a few caveats. Whitefly Control To prevent Whitefly infestation: Whitefly infestations can expand very rapidly, so preventative treatments are a great way to go. Wings overlap when at rest and are mottled with grey markings. In addition to predators and parasitoids, whiteflies are naturally attacked by insect pathogens. Their rapid reproduction rate makes them difficult to control once established. This is an occasional pest of crops and ornamental plants, especially hibiscus. And, although compatible with mites, Ference may disrupt parasitoids or other biocontrol agents. A list of commercial suppliers of natural enemies in North America can be obtained by visiting www. It is important to distinguish the different whiteflies because damage potential and susceptibility to control differs by species. Chemical control In many cases, controlling whiteflies with insecticides has been difficult because they have developed resistance to some chemicals. • Monitor whitefly populations by using sticky traps and weekly inspections to detect early infestations. Females deposit eggs and wax in spiral patterns that appear as white concentric circles on the undersides of host plant leaves. The adults are slightly larger than silverleaf and greenhouse whiteflies. Management may be necessary only on plants that harbor eggs and nymphs. Consult your county Extension agent for additional help identifying a species. Initially, insecticides were used successfully for control, but the whitefly’s short life cycle means that resistance builds up quickly and new chemicals are constantly needed to control the pest. Download a printer-friendly version of this publication: Whiteflies (pdf), View more Gardening & Landscaping information ». Additionally, ALL of the above options essentially wipe out thrips biocontrol programs, being hard on predatory mites (even in sachets). Do not wait until damage is obvious because whitefly control is very difficult to achieve at that point. Pupae are oval, slightly raised (with vertical sides) and have a fringe of wax filaments along the perimeter of their upper surface. Organophosphate insecticides used alone provide no control for silverleaf whitefly. Because this grower had an infestation of both onion thrips and WFT, it’s difficult to determine the efficacy of Ference against either species alone. Aphid-cast skins can easily be mistaken for whitefly, but whitefly will quickly flutter up and fly away when disturbed. Recommended release rates are seven to ten per m2 (10 ft.2). Nymphs and pupae secrete long cylindrical strands of wax extending up to two inches (50 millimeters) from the leaf surface. This is an occasional pest, especially in greenhouses. This makes it a better option for growers who rely on biocontrol to get occasional thrips outbreaks under control. Giant whitefly adults tend to remain on the plant where they developed. Removing infested leaves from plants may be enough to control small populations on less preferred hosts. Except for these banded front wings, the adults are very similar in size and shape to adult greenhouse whiteflies. Indirect whitefly damage is caused by the large amounts of sticky honeydew secreted during feeding. Although adults of some species have distinctive wing markings, many species are most readily distinguished in the last nymphal (immature) stage, which is wingless and lacks visible legs. Biological control is the manipulation of natural enemies to prevent or suppress damage from pests. When present in large numbers, whitefly feeding can affect plant growth causing distortion, discoloration, yellowing or silvering of leaves. Wingless nymphs are flattened, oval and almost scale-like in appearance. Generally, botanists advise against strong chemical pesticides or insecticides and recommend different methods of biological control such as using whitefly predators, hosing down the infected plants, or using an agricultural soap or insecticide oil. The active ingredient in a whitefly pesticide will vary from product to product and may be natural or chemical. A certain number of whiteflies may be tolerated when they do not cause significant damage. And heavy use of both of these disrupted biocontrol programs. Systemic insecticides can control both adults and nymphs. Several classes of insecticides are labeled for use against whiteflies on ornamental plants. Adults are 0.8-1.2 millimeter long with white wings (without markings) and pale yellow bodies. Silverleaf whitefly pupae are oval, flattened (with tapering sides) and lack the marginal fringe of wax filaments common to other whiteflies. Our work makes a difference, in the lives of Texans and on the economy. This data was provided courtesy of researchers in the United States (you can see their full methods and results here). Eggs are oblong, smooth and are initially yellow but darken before hatching. Under certain temperature, humidity, water and shade conditions, pesticides may also cause injury to certain plants (phytotoxicity). Important ornamental hosts include poinsettia, geranium, hibiscus and petunia. Always check the product label for the list of plants that may be injured by the pesticide. Low numbers of whiteflies are not usually damaging and adults by themselves will not cause significant damage unless they are transmitting plant viruses. Removing a few infested plants early may prevent future problems. Successful IPM of whiteflies involves: Cultural control practices are aimed at avoiding or preventing whitefly infestations, eliminating sources of whiteflies and keeping whiteflies out of growing areas. To reduce the impact of insecticides on natural enemies, avoid the frequent use of broad-spectrum insecticides (those labeled against many pests) because these also kill predators and parasitoids. The complete life cycle varies from about 21/2 to 5 weeks according to temperature conditions and species. Adults are very similar to adult greenhouse whiteflies but have broader wings and feed mainly on shrubs and trees, especially citrus. Many compounds have been used, but the systemic Marathon (imadacloprid) has been used most frequently over the past few years. There are two main drawbacks to this approach: 1) Whiteflies often develop a tolerance to the toxins, much like viruses mutate to make certain antibiotics ineffective. Further compounding this, the majority of our Western flower thrips populations in greenhouses come from imported cuttings, meaning they can arrive with resistance issues. Chemicals that have given some control of thrips in recent years include DDVP (dichlorvos), Pylon (chlorfenapyr) and sometimes Success (spinosad). The easiest biological control method in a landscape is to conserve naturally occurring predators and parasitoids. Integrated pest management (IPM) is a strategy to avoid or prevent pest damage with minimum adverse impact to human health, environment and non-target organisms. Whitefly impacts are massive on crop production as they can affect both the quality and quantity of farm produce. Common hosts include bamboo, begonia, bird of paradise, citrus, geranium, hibiscus, ivy, jasmine, morning glory, lantana, passion flower, philodendron and pittosporium. Spraying with chemicals also destroys natural enemies or biological control agents that have been released. For several decades now, there have been few real chemical control options for Western flower thrips in Canadian floriculture, due to this pest’s overwhelming ability to become resistant to chemicals. Our 3 IN 1 CONCENTRATE is similar to Multipurpose Insect Killer but it includes a fungicide making it a “dual action” product. Organic Whitefly Control Before trying more serious white fly treatments, you should begin with something very simple: blast your plants with water. Their use means getting your thrips bio program up and running again can be difficult, and can often put you back on a pesticide “treadmill” for a crop cycle. Whiteflies produce a sticky substance known as honeydew, on which sooty mould can develop. Biological Control. Insects that are resistant to one insecticide may also be resistant to other insecticides (cross-resistance). Some are used as foliar sprays while others are used as soil drenches. (See here and here for more information on onion thrips in ornamentals). Whiteflies are very small insects that take flight when disturbed on leaves, often in clouds due to their high infestation rate. Managing these species may be very difficult if populations are not detected early. When temperatures are high at the peak of summer, whiteflies may complete development in 16-18 days. Silverleaf whitefly feeding has been associated with several plant disorders, including silverleaf of squash, stem blanching and whitening of poinsettia and cruciferous vegetables, and irregular ripening of tomatoes. Adults are about the same size as the silverleaf whitefly (0.9- 1.1 millimeter). High-pressure water sprays will wash away honeydew and sooty mold accumulations and reduce populations of adults and nymphs. The wings are held nearly parallel to the leaf and cover the abdomen when at rest. Females lay eggs in a characteristic spiral pattern. The eggs hatch into tiny “crawlers” that walk a short distance before settling at a feeding location. When the wasp eggs hatch, the larvae feed internally on the whitefly nymphs, eventually killing them. Adults have four broad wings of approximately the same size. They then insert their mouthparts and remain in one place for the rest of their immature stages. This category includes the Delphastus catalinae beetle. They can be recognized by two irregularly shaped (in zig-zag pattern) gray bands on the front pair of wings. They derive their name from the mealy white wax covering the adult’s wings and body. Accurate species identification and pest diagnosis to select proper control action. When feasible, avoid growing susceptible plants of different ages together in one place or immediately replanting after harvest when pests from a previous crop may still be present. This information is critical in deciding whether or not treatment is necessary. Implementing cultural control practices to limit whitefly colonization. Otherwise, we’ll be back to where we started – without any real chemical tools in our tool belts for two of our most serious pests. New Chemical Control Option for Thrips and Whitefly June 3, 2020 Sarah Jandricic, Greenhouse Floriculture IPM Specialist, OMAFRA A new pesticide is available for greenhouse ornamental production in Canada that has shown potential for effective suppression of difficult-to … Second to fourth instars are called nymphs and resemble small scale insects. Table 1 lists some whitefly control products available to commercial ornamental producers, and Table 2 shows products available to homeowners. Sampling (plant taps) by OMAFRA and University of Guelph student Ashley Summerfield showed that the thrips population was a roughly split between Western flower thrips and onion thrips – a fairly new pest we’ve been seeing in Ontario greenhouses. Add 4-8 oz to a gallon of water to cover up to 500 sq/ft of plant foliage. Other species include the citrus blackfly (Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby), the citrus whitefly (Dialeurodes citri Ashmead) and the giant whitefly (Aleurodicus dugesii Cockerell). The citrus blackfly is a sporadic pest of ornamental plants and a potentially serious pest of citrus, especially in South Texas. Because of this resistance, a certain product may work well in one area but not in another. When lower rates were applied preventively, there was very little suppression compared to the control treatment (water). Whitefly insecticides are products formulated to effectively kill whiteflies. Resistance to Success developed in Western flower thrips populations in under 6 months… Intercept was only effective for Bemisia whitefly on Poinsettia for a few seasons. However, it should be noted that this was likely a RESIDENT population of thrips that had been building up within this greenhouse — meaning they may have been more susceptible to chemicals. Whiteflies can be a problem of … Avoid planting when whiteflies are expected to migrate from other hosts. Females of these tiny, parasitic wasps lay their eggs inside whitefly nymphs. All whiteflies suffer from an identity crisis, as they are not “true” flies at all. Resistance may be delayed by alternating the types of chemicals … A new pesticide is available for greenhouse ornamental production in Canada that has shown potential for effective suppression of difficult-to-control thrips and whitefly species. But does it work??? The chrysopidae larva and some bedbugs are also good biological controllers of this pest. Judicious use of insecticides not only will preserve natural enemies but will also reduce health and environmental risks. But to keep this new tool effective, growers will have to use this chemical wisely. The name whitefly is derived from the generally white, wax-like substance that coats their bodies, particularly the wings. The Plan: As mites, nematodes, Beauveria applications and large amounts of mass trapping cards were not providing control, and the damage to the blooms was making many of the flowers unsellable, consultant Graeme Murphy (BioLogical Consulting) suggested quick action with pesticides was needed. Thrips numbers caught on monitoring cards were higher than usual (Figure 1, below), and there was a lot more variation (difference) in thrips numbers between greenhouse sections (as indicated by the standard error bars in the graph). Honeydew may cover plants and support the growth of sooty mold, which reduces the plant’s ability to use light for photosynthesis. Adults are tiny insects with yellowish bodies and four whitish wings. 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