|Carlos E. Bográn and Kevin M. Heinz*
* Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist, and Associate Professor of Entomology, respectively. The Texas A&M University System.
Although there are approximately 1,200 species of whiteflies worldwide, only a few species are of economic importance. Most whitefly species have a narrow range of host plants, but the ones that are considered pests may feed on and damage many vegetable and field crops, greenhouse and nursery crops and house plants. The name whitefly is derived from the generally white, wax-like substance that coats their bodies, particularly the wings. Some species are dark with colored wing patterns. All developmental stages secrete wax, and in nymphs (immatures), the appearance of accumulated wax filaments and plates is used in species identification. The main whitefly species that feed on ornamental plants in Texas are the silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia argentifolii [Bellows & Perring]), the greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum [Westwood]) and the banded wing whitefly (Trialeurodes abutiloneus [Haldeman]). Other species include the citrus blackfly (Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby), the citrus whitefly (Dialeurodes citri Ashmead) and the giant whitefly (Aleurodicus dugesii Cockerell). It is important to distinguish the different whiteflies because damage potential and susceptibility to control differs by species.
Description and Life Cycle
Other Whitefly Species
Integrated Pest Management
Pest Monitoring and Diagnosis
Mention of commercial products is for educational purposes only and does not represent endorsement by Texas Cooperative Extension or The Texas A&M University System. Insecticide label registrations are subject to change, and changes may have occurred since this publication was printed. The pesticide user is always responsible for applying products in accordance with label directions. Always read and carefully follow the instructions on the container label.
Table 1. Insecticidal products to control whiteflies on commercial ornamental production (always read and follow directions printed on label; some products may have restrictions).
1GH, N, L represent approved site use; L = landscape, GH = greenhouse, and N= nursery.
Table 2. Homeowner packaged whitefly control products (always read and follow directions printed on