Good Riddance Whitefly!
We think this is excellent news and couldn’t wait to to share with you! From the “Bugs & Shrubs Buzz” (blog from the University of Florida – a Collier County Extension) – this article by Doug Caldwell Ph.D. brings us great joy. Good riddance Whitefly!
“Amazingly, it appears the onslaught of the Rugose Spiraling Whitefly has subsided! Last year, populations of this whitefly coated our coconut palms, gumbo-limbo and bucida (“black olive”) tree canopies as well as white bird of paradise foliage plus about 80 other plant species. Plants were coated with wax, whitefly adults and immatures. It was almost like snow! These insects also produce significant amounts of “honeydew” which is the liquid waste it excretes. This “honeydew” is then colonized by a black fungus called sooty mold. Plants were covered with a thick sticky layer of this stuff and anything underneath. And now? It’s as if they were vaporized. Insect populations go in cycles over the years. Some species have prominent peaks or outbreak periods and then their numbers decline when another insect or disease or poor weather does them in… the whitefly was “done-in” primarily by a small wasp, Encarsia noyesi.” (Caldwell).