Adult and larval stages of this beetle feed on all life stages of the pest.  Honeydew can induce the growth of sooty molds, which can then reduce the plants ability to absorb light. Scientific Name.  Other common plant damages of whitefly include: removing plant sap, breakdown of the leaves of the plant, and leaf shedding. It has transmitted gemniviruses including lettuce infectious yellows virus, tomato yellow leaf curl virus, and African cassava mosaic virus for years and over many continents and is now a vector for cassava brown streak virus disease. This stage is commonly called a pupa, even though whiteflies have incomplete metamorphosis and do not have a true pupal stage. Whiteflies actually are not flies; they have piercing-sucking mouthparts and are related to aphids, cicadas, and jumping plant lice. A sooty fungus that grows on the honeydew excreted by the citrus blackfly reduces the host plant’s ability to photosynthesize. The silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia tabaci, also informally referred to as the sweet potato whitefly) is one of several species of whitefly that are currently important agricultural pests. , Entomologists with the U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center identified the most common causes of death of the whitefly as predation by other insects, parasitism, and weather induced dislodgement. Cold temperatures kill both the adults and the nymphs of the species. California produces approximately 90% of the United States’ winter vegetable crop, and has incurred an estimated $500 million in crop damage due to silverleaf whitefly populations. Common Name. The best studied of these whitefly parasitoids are Encarsia formosa and Eretmocerus eremicus, both of which are commercially available. Squashes can act as trap crops for the silverleaf whitefly due to the flies’ attraction to these crops. Other plants that can serve as trap crops include cantaloupe and cucumber. el Pla CP. The whiteflies, common on citrus trees and in greenhouse plants, do not survive winter out of doors in the North but produce several generations a year in the South. The first instar, commonly called a crawler, is the only mobile nymphal stage. , Natural oils are another important tool in the control of B. tabaci. Since the whitefly is predominately associated with areas exhibiting tropical/subtropical climates, the focus shifts to how these insects attained access to crops in habitats with temperate climates. Which of these insects includes a “slave-maker” that bites the head off the resident queen? This can be accomplished by reducing settling, decreasing oviposition, and abating population development. The Encarsia formosa "Beltsville Strain", however, has been unsuccessful in control B. tabaci biotype B in commercial greenhouses; it is only able to control the species in small experimental greenhouses. Species in eight arthropod orders are known to be predators of B. tabaci. Multiple methods of control can be used to combat these prevalent agricultural pests. The nymphs, resembling scale insects, are flat, oval, and usually covered with a cottony substance; the adults, 2–3 mm (0.08–0.12 inch) long, are covered with a white opaque powder and resemble tiny moths. The four wings develop within the insect and evert during the last molt.  Plants which are affected by the whitefly include: tomatoes, squash, poinsettia, cucumber, eggplants, okra, beans, and cotton.  The SqVYV virus discovered by plant pathologist Benny Bruton and Shaker Kousik is essentially a crippling disease of the watermelon, which leads to the vine of the watermelon to collapse, causing the death of the watermelon before harvest. Much of the success of this biological control on B. tabaci has been conducted in the laboratory. Eretmocerus sp. Mature nymphs become temporarily inactive during the last growth stage. The adults of most species are similar in appearance and are shaped like tiny moths. , Another natural enemy of the whitefly are parasitoids, which kill their host once their development has been completed. Proper identification of sweetpotato whiteflies and greenhouse whiteflies is important because other whitefly species do not cause economic damage in tomato. Scientific experiments show in the fields that growing squash crops around the areas where tomato plants can be found is a useful manipulation in regulating the silverleaf whitefly population as well as the transmission of TYLCV. The silverleaf whitefly thrives worldwide in tropical, subtropical, and less predominately in temperate habitats. Neomaskellia bergii. Sugar apple seed oil is not phytotoxic to tomato plants of any concentrations and reduces the survival rate of the pest.. The oil extracted from the seeds of sugar apple has also been found effective against the whitefly.  One hypothesis suggests that the transfer of decorative plants from tropical regions may have aided in the spread of the silverleaf whiteflies to temperate environments. Other natural oils such as cottonseed, castor, peanut, soybean, and sunflower can be effective. Nymphs feed by stabbing into the plant with their mouth-parts and sucking up plant juices.