Predatory insect may help with whitefly control

Scientists at the University of Florida have found an insect predator that may help greenhouse tomato growers manage populations of the sweetpotato whitefly when used as a piece of an integrated pest management system.

Bemisia tabaci, also known as the sweetpotato whitefly or silverleaf whitefly, attacks a range of plants, including sweetpotato, squash, tomato and poinsettia. The biotype B species has been established in the United States since the late 1980s. It transmits Tomato yellow leaf curl virus. Young tomato plants infected with tomato yellow leaf curl virus are stunted and unproductive. Continue reading

Sweetpotato whitefly already present in Florida and Georgia

In Southeast Farm Press

by Xavier Martini, Mathews Paret, Josh Freeman, UF/IFAS

Outbreaks of sweetpotato whiteflies have been recorded recently in the Florida Panhandle and south Georgia on tomatoes and other vegetables. This arrival of whitefly is quite unusual at this time of the year in the Florida Panhandle.

Whitefly densities usually increase in October when cotton is defoliated and soybean senesces. This early arrival of whiteflies requires attention given the recent outbreak of Q biotype whiteflies in the Florida landscape. Continue reading