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Quick Facts Whiteflies



Worldwide there are more than 1500 species of whitefly. Whiteflies are soft-bodied, winged insects closely related to aphids and mealybugs. Despite their name, whiteflies are not a type of fly, though they do have wings and are capable of flying. These fluffy white insects get their name from the wax coating covering the wings and bodies of adults. Whiteflies use their piercing, needlelike mouthparts to suck sap from the food-conducting tissues in plant stems and leaves.


As whitefly infestations become severe, they cause plants to yellow and lose their leaves prematurely. They also produce large amounts of sticky, sugary honeydew, which in turn is colonized by black sooty mold, reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the plant leaves, obstructing photosynthesis, further weakening the affected plants. Some of their favorite plants include, hibiscus, bird of paradise, iris, flowering fruit tree, various vegetables, avocado, fuchsia, gardenia, lantana and redbud.

Even worse, whiteflies are vectors that transmit over a hundred different plant viruses. These viruses are taken up by whiteflies feeding on an infected plant and then spread to a new plant as it continues to feed.

Whiteflies develop rapidly in warm weather, and populations can build up quickly in situations where natural enemies are ineffective and when weather and host plants favor outbreaks. Large colonies often develop on the undersides of leaves for protection from predators and the harmful effects of direct sunlight on their fragile bodies.


A few whiteflies are not a disaster. But let them go unchecked and they become a huge problem very quickly. Keeping these pests under control takes time and persistence. It is a year-round undertaking and can be daunting for many.

Corky’s Pest Control has a Whitefly Control Service that is designed specifically for the plantings of our Southern California properties.

  • The initial service consists of 2 treatment applications (or more, depending on the severity of the infestation), scheduled 14 days apart.
  • The first application consists of root drenching and spraying (fogging) of plants. We drench the roots of your roses and hibiscus plants. We perform this drenching once a year. It takes 2 weeks for the product to systemically work its way out to the leaves. This spring application must be done between Feb 15th and May 15th. The earlier the better.
  • We also spray a mist on the underside of all the leaves of target plantings with our special fogging machine, targeting whitefly harborage areas.
  • On the second application, we inspect all the plantings that we treated previously and apply a second fogging application under the leaves of those plantings.

Additional treatments are charged per application, unless you’re on Corky’s Ultimate Pest Control Service, in which case additional treatments are covered under the plan.

Without a regularly scheduled maintenance program, infestations are sure to reoccur. Whiteflies migrate from neighboring properties and attract other insects such as ants and spiders, that not only infest the landscape but our homes as well.

This is why whitefly prevention is included with Corky’s Ultimate Pest Control Service.

Call Corky’s Pest Control to put an end to sticky, sickly plants. Call 1-800-901-1102 or schedule a service online, today.