See those tiny white bugs flying over and feeding on your precious plants They’re spiraling whiteflies or aleyrodidae, which are winged insects with soft bodies related to mealybugs and aphids. But should you be worried about them? Probably, especially if you see them on baby plants or trees, even landscaping. But first, you need to figure out if you’ve got a whitefly infestation. Below are telltale warning signs to watch out for:
Unhealthy and wilted leaves
If you spot yellowing, dropping fronds, stunted growth, and wilted leaves, you might already have a whitefly infestation, warns a pest control services specialist from IPM Pest Control in Boca Raton, FL. This happens when these pests feed off your plants using their needle-like mouths to suck for stealing nutrients your plants require to thrive.
White spirals or circles of waxy film on the leaves
Spiraling whiteflies excrete a white, waxy film when they’re young. Female whiteflies likewise cover their eggs in this white film when they lay them on leaves. So if you notice white, waxy circles on leaves, your plants might be harboring a whitefly nursery, without realizing it.
Sooty, black mold
These pesky pests produce what’s known as honeydew, which is a sugary, sweet liquid that won’t really harm your plants. However, it promotes the development of sooty, black mold. When plants are coated with mold, they won’t be able to photosynthesize light to feed themselves, which in turn could lead to slow growth, wilting, yellowing, or dead leaves. Do note, however, that other insects also produce honeydew, so it’s best to consult a professional to determine if you have a spiraling whitefly infestation or something else.
It’s also crucial to note that the negative impacts of a spiraling whitefly infestation are more pronounced for baby plants and young trees. If you’re concerned about the health of your trees and plants because of a spiraling whitefly infestation, seek help from a pest control expert as soon as possible to get your plants the treatment they need to recover.