The Rugose Spiraling Whitefly has made its way into Manatee, Sarasota & Charlotte counties. We have been on the lookout for it since January once the insects were properly identified in Naples. This is an amazing new breed of whitefly that was first detected in the U.S. in 2009, right in our backyard of Miami- Dade County Florida. Since then, entomologists from the University of Florida have been studying the characteristics of these unusual Whiteflies.
Spiraling Whitefly Symptoms
- Visible spiral-like eggs on the underside of foliage.
- Rapid increase in population and noticeable white “fuzz-like” coating undersides of foliage.
- Massive sooty mold buildup on all the foliage turning the infected plant black and anything nearby.
Currently, we are aware of just over 90 host plants. Predominantly, palm trees appear to be the preferred host for these bugs. Coconut, Pigmy, Royal, Washingtonian and Areca palms have all been targeted. Also, Black Olive trees, Coco plum, Gumbo Limbo, Avocado, Mango and oaks are vulnerable.
Look over your landscapes and see if there are any signs of Spiraling Whitefly activity. Call or fill out this form if you think you have them.
If you would like more information, the University of Florida, IFAS Extension has a lot of good helpful facts.