Bemisia tabaci

Bemisia tabaci

Short pest overview:

This pest feeds on its host plants by piercing the phloem or lower leaf surfaces with its mouth and removing nutrients. Affected areas of the plant may develop chlorotic spots, whither, or drop leaves. Whiteflies also produce a sticky substance called honeydew, which is left behind on the host. Honeydew can induce the growth of sooty molds, which can then reduce the plants ability to absorb light. This results in slower growth, lower yield, and poor quality plants. It also requires that crops be thoroughly washed after harvesting, which raises processing costs for the grower.

Geographic Distribution:

This whitefly thrives worldwide in tropical, subtropical, and less predominately in temperate habitats.

Life Cycle:

True pupation within the whitefly lifecycle does not occur, although the last (fourth) nymphal instar is typically referred to as a pupa after apolysis has been completed. Copulation begins 12-20 hours after emergence and takes place several times throughout the life of the adult. The life span of the female can extend to 60 days. Some 8 to 15 generations can occur within 1 year.