A cluster of white flies on a flower - Keep white flies away from your home with Kona Coast Pest Control in Kailua Kona

Whitefly

Actual Size: 1 mm to 3 mm

Characteristics: Small and yellow in color with four whitish wings.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Typically associated with plants thriving in greenhouse settings rather than those cultivated in homes. Often present on the undersides of plant leaves.

Habits:

  • When infested plants are disturbed, great clouds of winged adults will fly into the air. 
  • Prolific reproducers. Their populations can increase rapidly under favorable conditions.
  • Vectors for various plant viruses, contribute to the spread of diseases among crops.
  • Excrete honeydew, a sweet, sticky substance, which can promote the growth of sooty mold on plants.

 

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Whiteflies in Kailua Kona

Whiteflies are tiny insects that feed on plant sap and take flight when the plants are disturbed. Despite their name, they are not true flies but are more closely related to scales, mealybugs, and aphids. The adult whiteflies get their name from the mealy white wax covering their wings and body. Although these pests are commonly associated with plants that grow in greenhouses, they can also be found on plants grown indoors. Whiteflies, at all stages of development, use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on plant sap. While infested leaves may yellow and fall off, they typically do not cause the death of the plant. Disturbing infested plants can lead to the release of large swarms of winged adults.

Whitefly Habitat

Warm weather accelerates the development of whiteflies, and populations can rapidly build up in conditions where natural enemies are ineffective, and weather and host plants favor outbreaks. The undersides of leaves frequently harbor large colonies. Whiteflies feed on plant juices, releasing a sticky substance called honeydew. If left unattended, honeydew can trigger the development of fungal diseases on leaves. In warmer regions, whiteflies breed continuously, transitioning from one host to another as plants are harvested or dry up.

Whitefly Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Whiteflies are not for biting humans, but they do have piercing mouthparts that they employ to extract fluids from plants. The excretion of honeydew by whiteflies can result in sticky or mold-covered plant leaves. Ants are attracted to the honeydew, disrupting the activities of natural enemies that might control whiteflies and other pests. Both nymphs and adults damage plants by extracting juices from new growth, leading to stunted growth, leaf yellowing, and diminished yields. The feeding activities of whiteflies weaken plants, rendering them more susceptible to disease.If you are dealing with a whitefly issue on your property, contact your local fly exterminators.