Greenhouse ornamentals-Whitefly

Greenhouse whitefly (Trialeuroides vaporarium)
Silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia argentifolia)
Sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci)

Pest description and crop damage Whitefly outbreaks are often associated with warm temperatures and susceptible plant material. The small football-shaped eggs are laid on the leaf underside with white wax deposits. Small, clear-to-beige, flat scales are evidence of immature whiteflies. The adult whitefly are tiny yellow-bodied insects with white wings that fly when disturbed.

Biology and life history The eggs are generally laid in clusters on the underside of leaves. The eggs hatch in about 9-12 days (70°F), and move to feeding sites, where they remain throughout the rest of the juvenile stages. The nymphs go through several instars or molts, and then a final pupal stage from which the adult emerges. Egg to adult development takes about 32-39 days.

Scouting and thresholds Scout for whiteflies on incoming transplants. Look for the adults on leaf undersides and yellow sticky cards. The eggs can be seen near white wax deposits with a hand lens.

Management-biological control

Natural enemies include:

  • lady beetle (Delphastus pusillus)
  • parasitic wasp (Encarsia formosa; Eretmocerus mundis)-Encarsia has been very successful in some greenhouses.
  • pathogenic fungi (Beauveria bassiani; Paecilomyces fumosoroseus)

Management-chemical control

Direct control efforts at larvae feeding on leaf surfaces.

  • abamectin (Avid 0.15) at 0.009 lb ai/100 gal (8 fl oz). REI 12 hr. Suppression.
  • acephate (Precise, Orthene TR) at 0.024 lb ai/1,000 sq ft broadcast (0.6 oz). REI 24 hr.
  • acephate/fenpropathrin (Valent Tame/Orthene)
  • acetamiprid (Tristar 30SG) at 0.1 to 0.5 lb ai/100 gal (2.7 to 5.3 oz). REI 12 hr.
  • afidopyropen (Ventigra) at 4.8 to 7.0/100 gal.
  • azadiractin (Azahar, Azatin XL)-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • Beauvaria bassiana (Botanigard, Mycotrol, Naturalis L)-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • bifenthrin (Talstar) at 0.168 to 0.335 lb ai/1,000 sq ft. REI 12 hr. Restricted use pesticide.
  • buprofezin (Talus 70DF) at 0.38 lb ai/A. REI 12 hr.
  • Burkholderia spp. (Venerate XC) at 4 to 8 pints per 100 gal.
  • canola oil/pyrethrins (E.B. Stone, Earth-tone, Worryfree)-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • capsaicin, garlic oil (Captiva)-Dilute 1 to 2 pints of Captiva® per acre and apply by spraying every 4-7 days.
  • carabaryl (Sevin SL) 1 quart per acre or per 100 gal (0.75 fl oz per 1,000 sq ft).
  • Chromobacterium (Grandevo)-Application rates based on host plant.
  • cinnamaldehyde (Seican)-Variable rates for first appearance, common and high pressure.
  • cinnamon oil (Gargoil)-Apply 1 to 2 quarts per acre, depending on pressure, in a minimum of 50 gal water.
  • citric acid (Flying Skull Nuke'Em) at 1 fl oz (30 ml) to 31 fl oz (917 ml) of water.
  • clarified hydrophobic extract of neem oil (Triact50)-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • clothianidin (Arena 0.25G) at 0.45 to 0.63 oz ai /100 gal. REI 12 hr. Soil treatment refer to label.
  • clove oil (All Natural Mite and Insect)-Weekly use until insects are under control (no mixing required).
  • corn oil (Circadian Sunrise) at 1 to 3 oz per gal; Agitate solution throughout application.
  • cottonseed oil, peppermint oil, geraniol, rosemary oil (Furious) at 22 to 33 fl oz/Acre or 3 fl oz/gal for 1,000 sq ft. WA only.
  • cyantraniliprole (Mainspring) at 0.013 to 0.1 lb ai/100 gal foliar or 0.16 lb ai/100 gal drench. REI 4 hr.
  • cyclaniliprole/floconamid (Pradia) at 10 to 17.5 fl oz/100 gal.
  • cyfluthrin (Decathlon) at 1.9 oz/100 gal. REI 12 hr.
  • cyfluthrin/imidacloprid (Discus N/G) at 0.063 lb ai/100 gal foliar; 0.009 to 0.014 lb ai/1,000 ft soil. REI 12 hr.
  • cyhalothrin (Declare) RUP at 0.01 to 0.02 lb/Acre or 1.02 to 2.05 fl oz/A.
  • DDVP (dichlorvos; Nuvan) 1.0% solution at 1 gal into 3.5 gal water.
  • deltamethrin (D-Fense Dust) at 8 oz product per 1,000 sq ft or as a thin layer.
  • diatomaceous earth (PermaGuard) minimum 1 lb to 2 gal water; max 1 lb to 25 gal water.
  • diflubenzuron (Adept) at 0.5 oz ai/100 gal.
  • dimethoate (dimethoate 400 EC)-Varies by host, see label for application rates.
  • dinotefuran (Safari 20SG) at 0.1 to 0.2 lb ai/1,000 ft sq; 0.05 to 0.1 lb ai/100 gal. REI 12 hr.
  • esfenvalerate (Onslaught) at 0.1 to 1.0 fl oz/gal or 0.1 to 1.0 fl oz with sufficient water to cover 1,000 sq ft.
  • etoxazole (Eschaton TR)-Apply when foliage is dry and greenhouse temperature is between 60°F and 80°F.
  • fenazaquin (Magus Miticide) at 0.15 to 0.3 lb ai/A. REI 12 hr.
  • fenpropathrin (Valent Tame 2) at 10.67 to 16 fl oz/100 gal with Orthene Turf, Tree & Ornamental Spray at 0.34 lb/100 gal
  • flonicamid (Aria) at 0.09 to 0.134 lb ai/100 gal. REI 12 hr.
  • flupyradifurone (Altus) at 10.5 to 14 fl oz/A. REI 4 hr.
  • geraniol, peppermint and rosemary oil (Keyplex Ecotrol) at 16 to 48 fl oz/100 gal; spray at first appearance, every 5-7 days.
  • gs-omega/kappa-Hxtx-Hv1a (Spear T Liquid)-Application varies by application type
  • imidacloprid (Marathon II) at 0.027 oz ai /100 gal foliar. REI 12 hr. Drench and irrigation permitted.
  • Isaria fumosorosea (PFR 97) at 0.175 to 3.5 lb ai/100 gal foliar. REI 4 hr. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • lambda-cyhalothrin (Scimitar GC) at 0.023 to 0.043 lb ai/100 gal. REI 24 hr.
  • malathion (Fyfanon) at 2.5 lb ai/100 gal; max 2 applications per year.
  • Metarhizium anisopliae strain F52 (Met52 EC)
  • mineral oil (Year-Round Spray oil)-Many are OMRI-listed.
  • naled (Dibrom 8) as vapor treatment.
  • neem oil (EcoWorks)-Low use: 1pint, mid use: 2 pints, high use: 4 pints (per acre), repeat 7-14 days.
  • novaluron (Pedestal) at 0.039 to 0.052 oz ai/100 gal. REI 12 hr.
  • peppermint/rosemary oil (Ecotec for WA only)-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • permethrin (Bonide Eight)-Application variable depending on specific host plant.
  • piperonyl butoxide (Evergreen Pro, Pest Xpert, Pyrenone Crop Spray)-Many products, see labels for application rates.
  • potassium laurate (several labels)-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • pymetrozine (Endeavor) at 1.25 to 2.5 oz ai/100 gal. REI 12 hr.
  • pyrethrins (Lynx EC 1.4) at 16 to 64 fl oz/A.
  • pyridaben (Sanmite) at 4 to 6 oz/100 gal. REI 12 hr.
  • pyrifluquinazon (Rycar) at 0.023 to 0.045 lb ai/100 gal. REI 12 hr. Limit 2 treatments per crop.
  • pyriproxyfen (Distance) at 0.041 to 0.054 lb ai/100 gal (6 to 8 fl oz) foliar. REI 12 hr.
  • s-kinoprene (Enstar AQ) at 0.012 to 0.024 lb ai/10,000 sq ft. REI 4 hr.
  • sesame oil (Organocide Bee Safe 3-in-1)-Dilute 3 oz/gal water and shake well before applying.
  • soybean oil (Golden Oil Spray)-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • spinetoram (XXPire) at 2.75 (78 g)/100 gal.
  • spiromesifen (Judo) at 1 to 4 fl oz/100 gal. REI 12 hr.
  • spirotetremat (Kontos)-No more than 25 fl oz per acre of nursery per season; dosage by # pots treated with the product.
  • tau-fluvalinate (Mavrik Aquaflow) at 0.063 to 0.156 lb ai/100 gal. REI 12 hr.
  • thiamethoxam (Flagship 25WG) as fogger. REI 12 or 24 hr.
  • thyme oil/phenethyl propionate (EcoVia WD) at 1 to 4 oz product per 1,000 sq ft. Controls adults and eggs.
  • tolfenpyrad (Hachi-Hachi) at 0.14 to 0.33 lb ai /100 gal. REI 12 hr.