The Gumbo Limbo Spiraling Whitefly is a newer pest in our area. It was first noticed in South Florida, but has made its way north over the last couple of years.
According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, the whitefly is a large, slow moving insect. Because it is a new pest, there is a good chance they will reach very high populations. They are capable of infesting a wide range of landscape plants, such as:
- gumbo limbo
- black olive
- live oak
- some shrubs, such as copperleaf, cocoplum, and wax myrtle
What to look for:
White spirals and a buildup of a white, waxy substance on the underside of leaves. This coats the eggs and immature whiteflies. If populations build up greatly, infested plants can become covered with the white, waxy substance. The leaves can sometimes become weakened and also be disfigured by the black sooty mold that grows on the insect’s excrement (referred to as honeydew). The sticky honeydew can also accumulate on cars, pool decks, and patio furniture from infested trees overhead. Honeydew does not damage paint, and once the insect is under control, the sooty mold and honeydew will disappear.
The spiraling whitefly is different from the ficus whitefly, and so far is not causing severe plant damage, death, or severe branch die-back. However, if the honeydew and black sooty mold become excessive, it may reduct plant growth or cause early leaf drop.
We can treat the Spiraling Whitefly using a systemic drench or injections on an annual basis. If you would like to discuss the service and pricing, call Craig (941) 923-1956 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org