A recent sample submitted to the Extension Office confirms that the Gumbo Limbo Spiraling Whitefly (Aleurodicus rugioperculatis) has arrived in the Keys. This insect was first found in the United States in 2009 in Miami-Dade County.
Host plants include gumbo limbo, palms, woody ornamentals and fruits. Damage may include plant decline, defolation, and branch dieback.
Symptoms of an infestation include an abundance of white waxy material and sooty mold on the leaves. Females lay their eggs in a spiral pattern.
Refer to the following articles for detailed information about this new pest and the best strategies for managing it.