Pest Of The Month: Whitefly

Pest Of The Month: Whitefly

The sweet potato whitefly, B biotype, also known as the silver-leaf whitefly, may be a tiny insect with a yellow body and white wings, but it sure can pack a punch to a variety of vegetable crops. Making matters worse, it has the ability to transmit viruses.

According to John Palumbo, a professor and Extension specialist at the University of Arizona, in the Southwest and California, melons are its preferred host followed closely by Brassica crops. To a lesser extent, leafy vegetables also can become a target of the whitefly. Melons, in particular, have been impacted by adult populations because adults have the ability to vector Cucurbit Yellows Stunting Disorder Virus (CYSDV). Infected plants typically show yellowing and leaves roll upward, which can lead to economic loss. Whiteflies also vector geminivirus that can cause severe reduction in yields.

Life Cycle Of The Pest

Adults are usually present in fields soon after plants emerge, says Palumbo. Eggs are laid on the undersides of young leaves almost immediately, and nymphs hatch in three to four days. When a grower sees masses of adults on the undersides of terminal leaves, this is the first sign that he has a big problem, he adds.

“This would soon be followed by the presence of nymphs, and much later the presence of honeydew,” explains Palumbo. “At that point, you’re generally too late to prevent economic damage.”

Honeydew, the substance excreted by nymphs after they have removed plant juices, accumulates on the crops and serves as a medium for the growth of a black, sooty mold. “The honeydew and sooty mold contaminate the marketable portion of vegetable crops and essentially render them unmarketable,” says Palumbo.

Management And Control Strategies

Control as early in the season as possible is critical. With the increased insensitivity to products such as imidacloprid, Palumbo encourages growers to include cultural practices into their management programs that will reduce the numbers of whiteflies in their area.

“This would include careful attention to proper crop management and scheduling, and most importantly, sanitation practices including the timely destruction of harvested plant residue,” he says.

In addition, several products are available to growers that provide control of whiteflies. Palumbo says alternative neonicotinoids provide efficacy of both adults and nymphs either via systemic soil applications with products such as Venom (dinotefuran, Valent U.S.A. Corp.) Scorpion (dinotefuran, Gowan Co.), or Platinum (thiamethoxam, Syngenta Crop Protection); or through foliar application with translaminar activity with Venom, Assail (acetamiprid, United Phosphorus, Inc.), Scorpion, or Actara (thiamethoxam, Syngenta Crop Protection).

“When applied prior to plant emergence, either through drip chemigation, or as a soil, shank injection at planting, a systemic neonicotinoid insecticide is quickly taken up by the plant and distributed via the vascular tissue to the newly emerging plant growth,” he says. “As adults feed on this plant tissue, they are quickly killed before they are able to lay a large number of eggs.”

Management with a soil systemic insecticide also helps with controlling the vector of viruses such as CYSDV, explains Palumbo. This management strategy has been shown to reduce primary virus infection, and can suppress the subsequent spread of virus throughout the field.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Sweet CornBreakthrough Corn Herbicide Receives EPA Approval
April 28, 2015
Syngenta has announced that it’s received EPA approval for its corn herbicide, Acuron. The first sales of the product to Read More
Crop ProtectionNimitz Nematicide Receives Emergency Exemption On Carrots In Michigan
April 28, 2015
Crop protection company Adama has announced that the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has issued a Crisis Read More
CitrusTrimble Acquires HarvestMark To Assist With Food Traceability And Quality Control
April 28, 2015
The goals of the acquisition ato provide more benefits to producers, add value to distribution centers, and provide a tool for tracking products in the food industry. Read More
GrapesFinding Vine Balance
April 28, 2015
Vine capacity, size, vigor and crop load all must be considered to achieve ideal vine balance. Read More
MarketingVidalia Onion Committee Kicks Off “V Is For Vidalia” Marketing Campaign
April 28, 2015
Promotion focuses on the benefits of Vidalia onions to younger consumers via digital and social media activities. Read More
GrapesAssessing And Managing Grapevine Freeze Injury
April 28, 2015
After two consecutive brutal winters, growers in the Northeast and Midwest are working to salvage vines. Read More
Apples & PearsHow To Prevent Fire Blight
April 28, 2015
With a 90% infection rate, researchers discuss steps you can take to prevent a fire blight epidemic like Nova Scotia experienced in 2014 from happening to you. Read More
Food SafetyFood Company Agrees To Stop Producing Contaminated Sprouts
April 27, 2015
On April 22, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a consent decree of Read More
CitrusCalifornia Drought Forum Slated For May 5
April 27, 2015
Public comments by growers, ranchers, and other stakeholders are encouraged by state officials. Read More
FertilizerImprove Your Tomato Fertility Plan
April 27, 2015
Packable tomato yields of 20-plus pounds per plant are readily attainable if you’re willing to focus on production details. However, Read More
The Latest
Sweet CornBreakthrough Corn Herbicide Receives EPA Approval
April 28, 2015
Syngenta has announced that it’s received EPA approval for its corn herbicide, Acuron. The first sales of the product to Read More
Crop ProtectionNimitz Nematicide Receives Emergency Exemption On Carro…
April 28, 2015
Crop protection company Adama has announced that the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has issued a Crisis Read More
CitrusTrimble Acquires HarvestMark To Assist With Food Tracea…
April 28, 2015
The goals of the acquisition ato provide more benefits to producers, add value to distribution centers, and provide a tool for tracking products in the food industry. Read More
GrapesFinding Vine Balance
April 28, 2015
Vine capacity, size, vigor and crop load all must be considered to achieve ideal vine balance. Read More
MarketingVidalia Onion Committee Kicks Off “V Is For Vidalia” Ma…
April 28, 2015
Promotion focuses on the benefits of Vidalia onions to younger consumers via digital and social media activities. Read More
GrapesAssessing And Managing Grapevine Freeze Injury
April 28, 2015
After two consecutive brutal winters, growers in the Northeast and Midwest are working to salvage vines. Read More
Apples & PearsHow To Prevent Fire Blight
April 28, 2015
With a 90% infection rate, researchers discuss steps you can take to prevent a fire blight epidemic like Nova Scotia experienced in 2014 from happening to you. Read More
Food SafetyFood Company Agrees To Stop Producing Contaminated Spro…
April 27, 2015
On April 22, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a consent decree of Read More
CitrusCalifornia Drought Forum Slated For May 5
April 27, 2015
Public comments by growers, ranchers, and other stakeholders are encouraged by state officials. Read More
FertilizerImprove Your Tomato Fertility Plan
April 27, 2015
Packable tomato yields of 20-plus pounds per plant are readily attainable if you’re willing to focus on production details. However, Read More
drought sign water crisis
Apples & PearsDiversification: A Response To Drought [Opinion]
April 27, 2015
With Governor Jerry Brown’s announcement of mandatory use reductions, the general public in California is getting a wake-up call on Read More
BerriesWebinar To Offer Management And Monitoring Tips For Spo…
April 27, 2015
Trapping tips, cultural controls, and how to test fruit will be among the topics covered by experts from Ohio State Read More
Apple Grower of the YearTerhune Orchards Celebrates 40th Anniversary
April 24, 2015
It’s a Mount-u-mental celebration for the 2005 Apple Grower Of The Year and family. Read More
OrganicWebcast: Weed Control Options For Organic Tomato Produ…
April 24, 2015
As part of a series of free educational webcasts on The Plant Management Network, a presentation on weed control considerations Read More
ProductionpH Reducer Certified For Use In Organic Production
April 24, 2015
Growth Products Ltd. announced that pH Reducer has been certified as a Registered Material for Use in Organic Agriculture by Read More
FruitsEast, Midwest Braces For Cold Snap
April 24, 2015
Growers keep an eye on the thermometer as temperatures dip into the mid to low 20s. Read More
anthracnose of tomato; diseases of tomato; crop protection
Disease ControlAnthracnose Can Cause Red Alert For Tomato Growers
April 24, 2015
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this disease. Read More
UF Glow mandarin
Varieties & RootstocksFlorida Citrus Growers Vie For Chance To Plant Experime…
April 23, 2015
Meetings set to support launch of rapid release program’s third suite of new varieties. Read More