Specimens of a new exotic whitefly, Aleurodicus rugioperculatus Martin (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), were collected from gumbo limbo (Bursera simaruba (L.) Sarg.) in Miami-Dade County by FDACS DPI inspector Olga Garcia on March 11, 2009.
Not only do the whiteflies cause stress to the plant by removing water and nutrients, but the sticky residue they excrete, called honeydew, covers leaves and promotes the growth of a fungus called sooty-mold. The honey and mold further reduce the ability of the leaf to produce nutrients and attract other insects, such as stinging ants and honeydew wasps. Ants protect the whiteflies and prevent predators and parasitoids from attacking the immature whitefly, a natural control of the population. Homeowners are not only plagued by the decline in the health of their plants, but by the honeydew, sticky wax and bodies of dead adult whiteflies that fall onto cars, patios, patio furniture and into pools, clogging water filters. Let us help rid you of your white fly problem.
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