Georgia Whitefly Populations Explode, Troubling Vegetable Growers

Adult whitefly is feeding on a tomato leaf. Photo credit: Saioa Legarrea, University of Georgia.
Adult whitefly is feeding on a tomato leaf. Photo credit: Saioa Legarrea, University of Georgia.

Whitefly populations in South Georgia have exploded over the past several weeks, troubling vegetable producers during the fall growing season, according to University of Georgia horticulturist Tim Coolong.

Coolong said growers must be up-to-date on spray programs, though combating whitefly populations of this magnitude will still be difficult. In some cases it might be impossible to stop whiteflies before they spread viruses.

Whiteflies feed on plants by sucking juice out of the leaves. They can transmit viruses that are devastating to vegetable crops. Babu Srinivasan, an entomologist at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus, said that the silvering of leaves in cucurbits is a problem associated with feeding damage. The flies suck chlorophyll and other cell contents from leaves, which could reduce fruit set.

“Aside from silvering of leaves in cucurbits, whiteflies cause irregular ripening of tomatoes, which reduces market value and is only evident after harvest,” Srinivasan said. “The most important thing, however, is that they can actually transmit viruses.”

“Because they have multiple hosts, are very small and capable of flying — and the fields are located very close to each other — there is no practical way to completely get rid of them,” Srinivasan said.

There are some ways to mitigate feeding damage, according to Srinivasan. He said that growers could use reflective mulch to make it harder for the whiteflies to land on the plants. The seedlings can also be drenched with insecticides before being planted.

Srinivasan said that climate and weather patterns are huge reasons why whitefly populations are so high. He said the warm winter and lack of rainfall in early summer could be reasons for this explosion.

Source: University of Georgia

Topics:

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Georgia Whitefly Populations Explode, Troubling Vegetable Growers

  1. Whitefly feeding has been incorrectly represented in this article. Both nymphs and adults have stylets that are inserted into leaves and pierce the vascular bundles to suck out plant sap or the phloem. They do not suck the juices from leaves, nor do they suck chlorophyll or cell contents. The cells are not fed on and reduced fruit set may be a result of loss of phloem as opposed to direct feeding. Leaf hoppers are able to feed on cell contents and cause direct feeding damage to leaves and fruit, the resulting silvering from leaf hopper damage is referred to as “blight” or “hopper burn”. Whiteflies may also transmit more than just viruses. The article incorrectly implies that the silvering of leaves is due to the whiteflies removing cell contents. The silvering is due to virus-like disorders that cause an internal separation of the leaf tissues. The use of reflective mulches is typically impractical in the application described above, it’s expensive and needs to be free of debris or cover in order to work. Once the plastic mulch layer is down follow up cultivation is impossible.

Cucurbits Stories
Cucurbits
January 8, 2017
13 of the Latest Watermelon Varieties [slideshow]
Browse this slideshow for more information on 13 watermelon varieties you need to know in 2017 from the nation’s leading seed breeders and Read More
Anthracnose on cucumber
Cucurbits
December 22, 2016
Stay Alert to Anthracnose of Cucurbits
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this destructive vegetable disease. Read More
Cucurbits
December 20, 2016
3 New Fungicide Product Options for Vegetable Growers
Unique modes of action the main feature of modern chemistries. Read More
Crop Protection
November 30, 2016
The Effect Of Soil Fertility On Fusarium Wilt In Watermelon
Ongoing research sheds light on the role soil health plays in the severity of the deadly pathogen. Read More
Crop Protection
November 8, 2016
The Effect Of Soil Fertility On Fusarium Wilt In Watermelon
Ongoing research sheds light on the role soil health plays in the severity of the deadly pathogen in watermelon crops. Read More
Diamondback cucumbers
Cucurbits
October 31, 2016
7 Squash And Cucumber Cultivars To Consider
Get the lowdown on several of the latest varieties making a name for themselves in the marketplace. Read More
Belmont watermelon from Sakata
Cucurbits
October 27, 2016
9 Melon Varieties To Keep In Mind
View some of the latest watermelon and cantaloupe varieties making an impact on the market. Read More
Crop Protection
October 25, 2016
Vegetable Grafting Facility Gears Up For Increased Production
The Tri-Hishtil vegetable grafting facility in North Carolina hopes to double grafted plant production by next year. Read More
Cucurbits
October 8, 2016
Georgia Whitefly Populations Explode, Troubling Vegetable Growers
Researcher says growers must be up-to-date on spray programs. Read More
Cucurbits
October 8, 2016
3,100 Pounds Of Marijuana Hidden In Cucumbers Confiscated
U.S. Customs and Border Protection made the discovery at the Otay Mesa cargo port in California. Read More
Crop Protection
October 3, 2016
Take Control Of Cucumber Beetles
Tactics to manage the pest of cucurbits include proper scouting, trap cropping, plus cultural and chemical controls. Read More
Cucurbits
September 25, 2016
10 Cantaloupe And Melon Varieties You Need To Know
Browse this slideshow for more information on 10 cantaloupe and melon varieties you need to know about from the nation’s leading Read More
white grubs
Cucurbits
September 21, 2016
Don’t Let White Grubs Gobble Up Your Vegetable Crop
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this pest. Read More
honeybees
Crop Protection
September 6, 2016
Purdue Entomologist Receives USDA Grant To Study Neonicotinoid Use In Vegetables
The goal of the research team is to help growers of cucurbits achieve effective pest control while protecting honeybees and other beneficial pollinating insects. Read More
Cucurbits
July 22, 2016
California Cantaloupe Growers To Celebrate First-Ever “Cantaloupe Week”
The Golden State’s cantaloupes are now in peak production from major areas in the San Joaquin Valley. Read More
The Latest
Crop Protection
March 10, 2017
Nematicide Now Available in California, …
Velum One from Bayer also suppresses foliar diseases, increases yields. Read More
Cucurbits
March 8, 2017
How Steam Helps Remove Pathogens on Cant…
The technique also may effectively sanitize watermelons, honeydews, cucumbers, and baby carrots. Read More
Cucurbits
January 20, 2017
Renowned Researcher Margaret McGrath Rec…
A plant pathologist, McGrath’s expertise has helped both organic and conventional growers fight late blight, downy mildew, and others.  Read More
Cucurbits
January 8, 2017
13 of the Latest Watermelon Varieties [s…
Browse this slideshow for more information on 13 watermelon varieties you need to know in 2017 from the nation’s leading seed breeders and Read More
Cucurbits
December 22, 2016
Stay Alert to Anthracnose of Cucurbits
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this destructive vegetable disease. Read More
Cucurbits
December 20, 2016
3 New Fungicide Product Options for Vege…
Unique modes of action the main feature of modern chemistries. Read More
Crop Protection
November 30, 2016
The Effect Of Soil Fertility On Fusarium…
Ongoing research sheds light on the role soil health plays in the severity of the deadly pathogen. Read More
Crop Protection
November 8, 2016
The Effect Of Soil Fertility On Fusarium…
Ongoing research sheds light on the role soil health plays in the severity of the deadly pathogen in watermelon crops. Read More
Cucurbits
October 31, 2016
7 Squash And Cucumber Cultivars To Consi…
Get the lowdown on several of the latest varieties making a name for themselves in the marketplace. Read More
Cucurbits
October 27, 2016
9 Melon Varieties To Keep In Mind
View some of the latest watermelon and cantaloupe varieties making an impact on the market. Read More
Crop Protection
October 25, 2016
Vegetable Grafting Facility Gears Up For…
The Tri-Hishtil vegetable grafting facility in North Carolina hopes to double grafted plant production by next year. Read More
Cucurbits
October 8, 2016
Georgia Whitefly Populations Explode, Tr…
Researcher says growers must be up-to-date on spray programs. Read More
Cucurbits
October 8, 2016
3,100 Pounds Of Marijuana Hidden In Cucu…
U.S. Customs and Border Protection made the discovery at the Otay Mesa cargo port in California. Read More
Crop Protection
October 3, 2016
Take Control Of Cucumber Beetles
Tactics to manage the pest of cucurbits include proper scouting, trap cropping, plus cultural and chemical controls. Read More
Cucurbits
September 25, 2016
10 Cantaloupe And Melon Varieties You Ne…
Browse this slideshow for more information on 10 cantaloupe and melon varieties you need to know about from the nation’s leading Read More
Cucurbits
September 21, 2016
Don’t Let White Grubs Gobble Up Yo…
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this pest. Read More
Crop Protection
September 6, 2016
Purdue Entomologist Receives USDA Grant …
The goal of the research team is to help growers of cucurbits achieve effective pest control while protecting honeybees and other beneficial pollinating insects. Read More
Cucurbits
July 22, 2016
California Cantaloupe Growers To Celebra…
The Golden State’s cantaloupes are now in peak production from major areas in the San Joaquin Valley. Read More