Ficus Whitefly, Singhiella simplex, was One of the Most Destructive Landscape Pests
Before ficus whitefly, this community was surrounded by a wall of Ficus benjamina.
Same hedge, about 6 years after ficus whitefly invasion. Dr. Muhammed Z. Ahmed and Collier County MG Tatiana Burhart evaluate the hedge’s failure.
Ficus whiteflies are fairly small,a tad over 1 mm in length. They do not produce significant honeydew, hence, there is no sooty mold build up as we see with the larger, messy, spiraling whitefly.
Whitefly species size difference: Whiteflies on a penny (note Abe Lincoln’s ear to right); Top whitefly is the larger rugose spiraling whitefly and the ficus whitefly is below it.
Ficus whitefly (see Dr. Mannion’s info: Fig Whitefly (2007) Fact Sheet_ Mannion ) killed miles of ficus hedge in southwest Florida. Homeowners and resort landscape managers were faced with costly insecticide treatments or hedge replacement. Finally after eight years, it looks like the “attack bugs” have arrived and are reducing the whitefly numbers, see: Ficus 2015-16 Whitefly Biocontrol Management Update D. Caldwell .
One easy- to- spot, give-away clue of ficus whitefly activity is the yellow streaking of the foliage.