Damage by other landscape-attacking insects pales in comparison to a relatively new invader, the Ficus Whitefly. Ficus Whitefly arrived in the Miami River area in 2007 and has made it’s way throughout South Florida.
These whiteflies are causing complete defoliation of Ficus Benjamina, including mature trees. Other species of ficus hedges and trees are being attacked as well.
These whiteflies pose a lethal threat to many local ficus hedges. Heavy feeding by the adult and the immature stages (which are immobile, flattened, and translucent with red eyes) cause yellowing of the foliage and significant defoliation. The undersides of leaves are coated with a pebbly, whitish residue (which is the empty casings or “skins”) left behind by the immature stages as the whiteflies molt and develop into the adult stage.
Early infestations of ficus whitefly may be easily overlooked. If one shakes the foliage, tiny white, gnat-like, adult whiteflies may fly from the foliage. This may be harder to see compared to other species of whiteflies. The body of the adult whitefly is yellowish in color. The wings are white, with a faint grey band towards the middle and a grey longitudinal bar on the inside of the back edge of each front wing.
Although your ficus tree or hedge may appear to be dying after losing a lot of leaves, we still may be able to help. Call us today for a free inspection and treatment recommendation.
Vulcan Pest Control will treat your South Florida whitefly damage to restore your landscaping back to its natural beauty.
Call (561) 791-2400 for a Free Estimate!