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Ficus Whitefly

"Florida Is Quite Literally Under Siege..." ... according to the Florida Division of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry. Currently published on their website is an article about the "Exotic Invasion of Florida" reporting that almost every month a new exotic arthropod is found in our state. According to the University of Florida Invasive Species Coordinating Council, they estimate that "invasive species cost the United States nearly $120 billion per year".

What is this Whitefly?

The Fig Whitefly Singhiella simplex (Singh) originated from Burma, China and India. The adult whitefly is yellow in color and its wings are white with a faint gray band near the middle of the wings. They are so small in size that when you shake an infested branch, a small cloud of tiny gnat-like whiteflies will start flying out from the foliage.

The whiteflies are found on the underside of the leaves and pierce the plant with their "needle-like" mouth parts and suck juices from the plant. The leaves will start to yellow, then brown and eventually drop off the plant and could cause death. As the photos on this page show, a ficus tree or hedge infested with whitefly can become completely defoliated