Whipping Whiteflies

Whipping Whiteflies

According to a recent whitefly resistance update provided by David Schuster, entomologist at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm, the silverleaf whitefly (also known as biotype B of the sweetpotato whitefly) and the disease it spreads — tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) — remain key pests plaguing Florida tomato growers.

The neonicotinoid insecticides remain an integral part of controlling the whitefly and reducing potential spread of TYLCV. Because of the risk of whiteflies developing resistance to the insecticides, researchers have been monitoring susceptibility of field populations to applications of neonicotinoids. The monitoring has shown that resistance is possible and requires growers take proactive action to avoid problems in the field.

In addition, biotype Q of the sweetpotato whitefly has been found in greenhouses and nurseries in 22 states, including Florida. Although this biotype has not been detected in the field, it represents a new threat to vegetables and other crops in the state because it is resistant to many insecticides commonly used against whiteflies.

Working Together 

In 2003, a Resistance Management Working Group was formed to promote resistance management activities. The working group consists of University of Florida research and Extension personnel, companies marketing neonicotinoid insecticides, commodity groups, and commercial scouts.

Because of cases of resistance and the threat posed by biotype Q, the Working Group met again in 2006 to revise whitefly resistance management recommendations. These recommendations include field hygiene and other cultural practices, which should be considered a high priority in overall whitefly management strategies.

Keep It Clean

Field hygiene should be a high priority in managing whiteflies, incidences of TYLCV, and insecticide resistance. Growers first should establish a minimum two-month crop-free period during the summer, preferably from mid-June to mid-August. Next, growers should disrupt the virus/whitefly cycle in winter by creating a break in time or space between fall and spring crops, especially in tomatoes.

Destroy the crop within five days of final harvest to decrease whitefly numbers and sources for TYLCV. Final crop destruction can be achieved with a burndown herbicide tank-mixed with a heavy application of oil (not less than 3% emulsion) and non-ionic adjuvant to destroy crop plants and kill whiteflies quickly.

Rogue tomato plants with symptoms of TYLCV and certain weeds can act as hosts for whiteflies, making weed control all the more important. Cull tomatoes should be disposed of as far away from the production fields as possible. If deposited in pastures, fruit should be spread (instead of dumped) in a pile to encourage cattle to eat the culls. Fields should be monitored for germination of tomato seedlings, which should be controlled by mowing or with herbicides.

Transplant Tips

How growers handle transplants also influences the likelihood of whitefly woes. The obvious first step is planting transplants that are whitefly and virus-free. It is also important to grow and isolate vegetable transplants away from ornamental plants, which host the pests.

Other tips growers can use range from planting vegetable varieties that show resistance to TYLCV to even avoiding yellow clothing, tools and, equipment, as they attract adult whiteflies. When it is time to plant a new crop, avoid planting near an old, infested crop. In fields with a history of whitefly infestations and TYLCV, plant on ultraviolet light reflective (aluminum) mulch to deter the pests.

It is an often preached sermon that is critical — Always Follow The Label. Chemical label instructions will help growers avoid insecticide resistance when followed properly. Selective use of neonicotinoids is important to preserve their effectiveness throughout the season. In the nursery, do not use neonicotinoids if biotype Q is present. If biotype B is present, make only one application seven to 10 days before shipping. In the field, use neonicotinoids only during the first six weeks to leave a neonic-free period at the end of the crop.

As the saying goes: “Do unto thy neighbor as…” These sage words apply to whitefly management, because if full-blown resistance to insecticides (especially neonicotinoids) occurs, all growers will feel the pain. Everybody should do their part to manage against resistance, but growers should keep abreast of operations in upwind fields, especially during harvest and crop destruction, just to be sure “thy neighbor” is managing whiteflies properly.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Whipping Whiteflies

  1. good evining
    i want to help me about whitefly
    i make research about whitefly and want to ask you if you know the name of machine that help me to collect amount of whitefly from field
    thanks

  2. good evining
    i want to help me about whitefly
    i make research about whitefly and want to ask you if you know the name of machine that help me to collect amount of whitefly from field
    thanks

Featured Stories
FruitsRegistration Is Open For 2015 International Fruit Tree Association’s Study Tour In Washington
May 26, 2015
Registration is now open for the International Fruit Tree Association’s (IFTA) 2015 Regional Study Tour. This registration includes hotel accommodations Read More
Stone FruitEarly Cherry Harvest In Pacific Northwest
May 26, 2015
Cherry harvest is off to an early start in the Pacific Northwest reports the Tri-City Herald thanks to a warmer-than-average Read More
FruitsCalifornia’s Delta Growers To Cut Water Use By 25%
May 26, 2015
The California State Water Resources Control Board have approved a proposal from riparian water right holders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Read More
CitrusSenate OKs Trade Priorities And Accountability Act
May 26, 2015
Late on the evening of Friday, May 22, the U.S. Senate approved the Trade Priorities And Accountability Act (TPA) of Read More
Apples & PearsSolve Your Labor Problems From Within
May 26, 2015
Summer is here, which means harvest season is just around the corner. Hopefully you’ll have the crews you need this Read More
FruitsWater Conservation Grants Awarded In Pacific Northwest
May 26, 2015
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded 17 Water Conservation Field Services Program (WCFSP) grants in the Pacific Northwest Region, Read More
Disease ControlPartnerships Key To Healthy Northwest Vines
May 26, 2015
Washington’s grape industry has seen accelerating growth over the past several decades. That momentum is owed, in part, to the Read More
Apples & PearsSounding Off On Record Purchase Of Apples
May 26, 2015
Recently USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service announced the purchase of 34.9 million pounds of fresh apples and 16.1 million pounds of Read More
Disease ControlInland Desert Nursery Is Main Source For Washington’s Clean Vines
May 26, 2015
The Judkins family has been in the business of clean grapevines for more than 40 years. Today, their Inland Desert Read More
Operation Outdoor Freedom participants
CitrusFlorida Proud To Be Home Of The Brave [Opinion]
May 25, 2015
Operation Outdoor Freedom invites wounded service members and veterans of the U.S. military to enjoy recreational activities in state forests and on private lands. Read More
The Latest
FruitsRegistration Is Open For 2015 International Fruit Tree …
May 26, 2015
Registration is now open for the International Fruit Tree Association’s (IFTA) 2015 Regional Study Tour. This registration includes hotel accommodations Read More
Stone FruitEarly Cherry Harvest In Pacific Northwest
May 26, 2015
Cherry harvest is off to an early start in the Pacific Northwest reports the Tri-City Herald thanks to a warmer-than-average Read More
FruitsCalifornia’s Delta Growers To Cut Water Use By 25%
May 26, 2015
The California State Water Resources Control Board have approved a proposal from riparian water right holders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Read More
CitrusSenate OKs Trade Priorities And Accountability Act
May 26, 2015
Late on the evening of Friday, May 22, the U.S. Senate approved the Trade Priorities And Accountability Act (TPA) of Read More
Apples & PearsSolve Your Labor Problems From Within
May 26, 2015
Summer is here, which means harvest season is just around the corner. Hopefully you’ll have the crews you need this Read More
FruitsWater Conservation Grants Awarded In Pacific Northwest
May 26, 2015
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded 17 Water Conservation Field Services Program (WCFSP) grants in the Pacific Northwest Region, Read More
Disease ControlPartnerships Key To Healthy Northwest Vines
May 26, 2015
Washington’s grape industry has seen accelerating growth over the past several decades. That momentum is owed, in part, to the Read More
Apples & PearsSounding Off On Record Purchase Of Apples
May 26, 2015
Recently USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service announced the purchase of 34.9 million pounds of fresh apples and 16.1 million pounds of Read More
Disease ControlInland Desert Nursery Is Main Source For WashingtonR…
May 26, 2015
The Judkins family has been in the business of clean grapevines for more than 40 years. Today, their Inland Desert Read More
Operation Outdoor Freedom participants
CitrusFlorida Proud To Be Home Of The Brave [Opinion]
May 25, 2015
Operation Outdoor Freedom invites wounded service members and veterans of the U.S. military to enjoy recreational activities in state forests and on private lands. Read More
OrganicDavid Peri of Peri & Sons Receives Outstanding Agri…
May 22, 2015
David Peri, president of Peri & Sons Farms, has been named the 2015 Nevada Outstanding Agriculturalist Award by the University Read More
FruitsQ&A With Penn State’s New Young Grower Alliance Coo…
May 22, 2015
Erin Dugan recently joined Penn State University extension as a specialty crop innovations program manager and Young Grower Alliance coordinator. Read More
FruitsHow To Start A Young Grower Association
May 22, 2015
You have recently returned to your family’s business. You have friends and family you can tap for their knowledge and Read More
Tomato bug
Insect ControlStop Tomato Bugs From Sucking Your Crops Dry
May 21, 2015
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods of this vegetable pest. Read More
UF/IFAS developmental biologist Dennis Gray looks at the progress of grapevines in a vineyard.
Crop ProtectionResearcher Using ‘Precision Breeding’ To Cr…
May 20, 2015
Breakthrough would mean significant savings on pesticide and fungicide sprays. Read More
Spraying indoor citrus
Protected AgricultureInterest Continues To Grow In Protected Citriculture
May 20, 2015
Inside move could put producers in prime scoring position. Read More
Expansion groundbreaking for Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
CitrusSouthwest Florida Research And Education Center Embraci…
May 20, 2015
A 7,000-square-foot addition to the UF/IFAS facility will house labs and offices for potential new faculty members. Read More
storm clouds
CitrusSouth Florida Rainy Season Could Wind Up On Drier Side
May 20, 2015
National Weather Service anticipating El Niño to play a hand in possible below-normal conditions. Read More