Whiteflies are already being observed at high levels on tomatoes and watermelons in the South Florida region. According to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline, up to eight whitefly adults have been observed on melons in the Immokalee, Florida area. Scouts report between 15% to 60% of plants having one or multiple adults.
It’s a similar scenario facing tomato producers though at lower numbers. Between 20% and 50% of tomato plants have one per leaf depending on location in Southwest Florida. Numbers decline after heavy rains. But even after extensive spray programs, growers continue to find whitefly populations.
Whiteflies are present in tomatoes in low numbers in Central Florida despite some early plantings being hit hard.
North Florida is experiencing less whitefly pressure in the fall crop than what has been reported in previous years.