Whitefly Pressure Building in Southwest Florida

Jim Rogers Florida

Producers in southwest Florida should be wary that whitefly pressure is moderate to high depending on the location and wind direction, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline.

Florida whiteflies

They have been observed swarming at high numbers, with more than 10 adults per leaf in multiple crops. These include eggplant, pepper, potato and watermelon.

In other fields, whitefly adults moved into newly planted fields within a day, reaching up to between 2 and 4 adults per plants. Nymphs were reported at mostly low levels on mature crops. Populations are building rapidly in the oldest fields. Whitefly pressure is still low in bean crops.

Whitefly infestations were reportedly low in tomatoes and beans along the east coast.

Dak Seal, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist at the UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center, reported medium whitefly pressure with 5 to 10 adults per plant in tomato. A similar situation was described in beans.