UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Monthly Tip

Giant Whiteflies

Tip description

Giant whiteflies were only discovered in California in 1992, but the infestation is now widespread in the San Francisco Bay Area. Plants most affected are ornamentals, such as begonia, hibiscus, bird of paradise, mulberry, and others. Adults produce spirals of wax primarily on the underside of leaves and lay their eggs in waxy bands which grow heavier as the population increases. Wax filaments grow to lengths of up to 2 inches, but in shielded areas, they can reach ten inches long! Even though affected plants weaken, they rarely die. Manage giant whiteflies by removing infected leaves, washing the undersides of leaves with strong streams of water, and encouraging beneficial insects to control populations.

More Information: Giant Whiteflies in Your Garden

Months applicable
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • 3. Pests and Diseases

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