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Dangerous Flies Loom in West Palm Beach County

Ambassador Pest Management warns of the Spiraling Whitefly and Ficus Whitefly, which are damaging landscapes in West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas.


West Palm Beach, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/16/2013 -- The Spiraling Whitefly, also known as the Rugose Spiraling Whitefly or the Gumbo Limbo Spiraling Whitefly, is a species of whitefly found throughout southern Florida.  It originated in Brazil, but has been present in Palm Beach County for about two years.

The Spiraling Whitefly is a large, white, slow-moving insect that attacks palm trees, gumbo limbo, live oak, some small shrubs, and various other plants.  Ambassador Pest notes that the species is a particular threat to palm trees.  If left untreated, the Spiraling Whitefly can cause palm trees to weaken, decline, and eventually die.  The pests can be seen gathered on the underside of palm leaves.  They lay their eggs on the underside of the palm in a white, spiral or circular pattern. If the population is allowed to build up, leaves can also become covered with a white, wax substance. If white circles and/or waxy build-up appear, treatment is necessary.

Systemic Drenching and Injection Effective for Treating Spiraling Whitefly Infestation

There are two effective systemic treatments that can rid landscaping of the Spiraling Whitefly: drenching and injection.  Soil drenching involves applying an insecticide in liquid form to the soil beneath an infected tree or plant.  The roots of the plant will absorb the chemicals and transport them throughout, thereby killing any Spiraling Whitefly population.

Soil drenching is effective and considered safe for the environment and other nearby healthy plants.  Because the drench is absorbed directly into the roots, it prevents chemical drift to nearby healthy plants.  Be sure that the affected plant is well watered when applying the soil drench so that the chemicals are able to be transported effectively.

Trunk injection provides a solution to Spiraling Whitefly infestation for up to six months.  Injection is considered even safer for the environment because it uses a special injection tool to insert the chemicals directly into the trunk of the tree.

The vascular system then distributes the chemicals throughout the rest of the plant.  Injection also tends to use fewer chemicals when compared to other treatments.  Homeowners should consider using a system, such as the Arborjet System, if attempting to treat a Spiraling Whitefly problem, but should contact a professional for large or persistent issues.

Ficus Whitefly Continues to Jeopardize West Palm Beach

Over the past several years, the Ficus Whitefly has caused massive defoliation, devastating many ficus hedges and trees in South Florida and reaching a new U.S. continental record.  The Ficus Whitefly, also known as the Fig Whitefly, is a small, winged insect that usually appears on the underside of leaves.

Their “needle-like” mouths can suck the nutrients from ficus plants, thereby causing wilting, yellowing, leaf drop, and eventually, death.  Defoliation and adult whiteflies swarming around the trees are the most obvious signs of a Ficus Whitefly problem.  Being able to see through the ficus is another sign that treatment is necessary.

Preserving Natural Enemies as Well as Systemic Treatments Important for Long-Term Health

In order to fully treat a Ficus Whitefly problem, it is important to get ahead and stay ahead of the destruction.  Immediate action and regular maintenance is necessary, or the infestation will recur.  Professionals recommend utilizing a systemic treatment and then performing regular maintenance every four months.  Use a soil drench or trunk injection to combat an infestation and then apply follow-up treatments as recommended.

Also, protecting the natural enemies of the Ficus Whitefly is the best way to ensure the long-term health of the plant.  These natural enemies include parasitoids, beetles, and lacewings.  Awareness of their presence and care not to kill them while treating the Ficus Whitefly is key.

Ambassador Pest provides quality and licensed pest control in West Palm Beach .  They also offer free inspection and treatment for Whitefly infestations.  One can schedule their free inspection by visiting their website at

Contact person: Scott Lewis
1401 Forsythe Road
West Palm Beach, FL, 33405
Phone number: 866.632.0088