What are Whiteflies?
Whiteflies are small white winged sap-sucking flies that are not true flies. They resemble
tiny white moths with a wingspan of 3mm. Whiteflies have become very prevalent in recent years and
there are several different types which are major pests for home gardeners. If the plant is disturbed, a
cloud of tiny insects fly out but they soon settle back onto the same plant. Both the adult and juvenile
(nymph) whiteflies suck the juices from the plant. Favoured plants are hibiscus, poinsettia, gerberas,
herbs such as sage and mint, vegetable seedlings such as squash, melon, eggplant, cabbage and bean,
tomato and broccoli.
What are the symptoms?
Wilting and stunting of new shoots. Can cause silvering and yellowing of leaves (eg. squash) and
uneven ripening of tomatoes and sometimes plant death. Sooty mould often accompanies large
numbers of white flies as they excrete honeydew when feeding on plant tissue.