Whiteflies Flaring Up in Florida Vegetables

Clint Thompson Florida, Pests, Top Posts, Vegetables

File photo shows whitefly adults feeding on a yellow squash seedling.

According to the South Florida Vegetable Pest and Disease Hotline, whiteflies are flaring up in tomatoes and watermelons in Southwest Florida. In the Central Florida area, growers indicate that whiteflies are present in tomatoes low numbers, although some of the early plantings were hit hard by whiteflies.

Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus pressure remains less than 1% but it is present in nearly every planting.

Growers in Homestead, Florida indicate that whitefly numbers are present in oriental vegetables.

Management of whiteflies later in the season depends on early suppression of whitefly populations. Growers need to be aggressive with systemic materials like Venom, Sivanto Prime and Verimark, early in the season.

Proper scouting remains a viable management tactic for controlling silverleaf whitefly. University of Florida entomologists have established thresholds that have been successful for tomato producers.

For more whitefly management tips, see click here.