Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County
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A Whitefly on the Flowerbud of a Plant

Whitefly on an indoor plant Whiteflies are commonly found on plants in the home. Like many other houseplant pests, these are sap-feeding insects that can weaken plants and cause poor, stunted growth. Death of infested plants occurs only in severe cases.

How do you know if you have whiteflies? If you see "dandruff" on your houseplant and it flies away when you shake the plant, itís probably whiteflies. These 1/16-inch insects with snow-white wings are a common greenhouse pest.

In flight, they look like tiny bits of white ash swirling in the air. Both the adults and the immature stages feed on the undersides of plant leaves.

While some houseplant pests can be controlled by simply washing the plants under running water, or with insecticidal soap products, whitefly control usually requires the use of pesticides.

Tiny whiteflies on the underside of a leafSelect a product labeled for use against the pest you want to control. Some houseplants are sensitive to certain pesticides, so be sure to check the label for any cautions to make sure it wonít harm your plant. Itís often a good idea to test the material on a small portion of the plant before treating the whole thing. Read and follow all label directions whenever using these or other pesticides.

More Horticulture Resources

Can You Guess It??This Can You Guess It?? photo appears in the January 2005 Nebline Newsletter. Find the answer here

Did you miss a Can You Guess It?? Find past photos and resources here.

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