Pest Alert! Ficus Fig Whitefly

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The Fig Whitefly – A Huge Pest in South Florida (Since 2008) 

This is what happens to the Ficus shrubs when they are not treated correctly and in a timely matter! Don't wait until this happens to you and your community!

Ficus Fig Whitefly Damage: Click here for more images

This can be prevented! Call JP Miller to schedule a treatment before your Ficus Hedge gets infested. This pest is throughout the Tri-County Area!

fig whitefly pest control 

fig white fly JP Miller 

At this stage of damage, the Ficus can regenerate with proper treatment but it will take several months before the hedge is healthy again. 

The Best Option is to prevent this from happening in the first place!  Do not wait until your ficus looks like this, schedule your treatment at least annually.

The science behind the fig whitefly

Introduction

ecently, a new pest was reported attacking ficus trees and hedges in Miami (through Palm Beach), Florida. This pest was identified as the fig whitefly, Singhiella simplex, and is a new US continental record. Whiteflies are small, winged insects that belong to the Order Hemiptera which also includes aphids scales, mealybugs, and bugs. These insects typically feed on the underside of leaves with their “needle-like” mouthparts. Whiteflies can seriously injure host plants by sucking juices from them causing wilting, yellowing, stunting, leaf drop, or even death.

Description and Damage 

The leaves of ficus trees infested with whiteflies begin to turn yellow before the leaves are dropped from the plant. Ficus trees without their leaves are one of the most obvious symptoms of a whitefly infestation.  This whitefly has been most commonly found infesting weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) but has also been seen on F. altissima, F. bengalensis (also called “banyan tree”), F. microcarpa, and F. maclellandii in Miami. Weeping figs are commony used as hedges but also grow as trees. Other hosts include the strangler fig (F. aurea), Cuban laurel (F. microcarpa), fiddle-leaf fig (F. lyrata) and banana-leaf fig (F. macllandii). This whitefly may eventually be found on other species of ficus. Azalea has also been listed as a host plant. 

JP Miller - Pest Control, Lawn Service, Fig Whitefly, Broward, Palm Beach Counties

If the foliage is disturbed the small, white gnat-like adult whiteflies can be seen flying from the foliage. The adult whitefly resembles a very small moth with a yellow body and white wings with a faint grey band in the middle of the wings. Immature stages (eggs and nymphs) can be found primarily on the underside of the leaves. Prior to adult emergence, the nymphs are tan to light green discs with red eyes. The underside of infested leaves look like they are dotted with small, silver or white spots which are actually the empty “skin” of the pupae after the adult emerges. 

JP Miller - Pest Control, Lawn Service, Fig Whitefly, Broward, Palm Beach Counties

Biology 

The biology of the fig whitefly is not known, however, it is probably similar to related species in Florida. Eggs which are usually laid on the underside of leaves hatch into a crawler stage. The crawler wanders around the leaf until they begin to feed. From this point until they emerge as adults, they are immobile and remain in the same place on the plant. These feeding, non-mobile stages (nymphs) are usually oval, flat, and simple in appearance.

Click here for more images! 

Click here for Sun-Sentinel News Article on Fig Whitefly 

 

Call to schedule inspection today! 1-877-JPM-Green