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"spiral whitefly"

Oh no, Gary -- if your spiral whitefly is the same as the giant whitefly we
have been battling for the past two or three years, all I can say is WATCH
OUT!!!  This is a HUGE pest.   Here in Southern California we have been
battling a giant whitefly that lays its eggs in a spiral pattern mostly on
leaves with smooth surfaces.  This critter synthesizes long sticky threads
that hang from the undersides of the leaves like sticky white cotton candy.
Soon the infected leaves and whatever leaves are beneath the infected
leaves get a black mold growing on the sticky residue.  It is most fond of
hibiscus (killed two of mine), some acacias, mulberry -- I've also seen it
on citrus, banana, and even pepper plant leaves. Some plants seem to be
able to continue growing despite the infestation while others like the
hibiscus are just devastated.  Big agricultural problem, especially in warm
winter areas.

UC Agricultural extension has been releasing parasitic wasps (if I recall
correctly) the last two years hoping to get the buggers under control.
Last summer was not as bad as the one before, but of course, my most
preferred host plants were gone.

You can look this one up on the internet, under "giant whitefly."  Also, UC
Ag extension has put out some pamphlets on it (probably avaialble on line
as well).

By the way, their recommended treatment is to wash the eggs, flies, and
sticky threads off with plain water in a sharp stream.  Since we had an
exceptionally cold winter in So Cal, I wonder if the flies will appear
later in the season than they have previously.....  Haven't seen them yet!


>Are you familiar with a  'spiral  whitefly'?  I found what apparently was
>the spiral
>egg mass  on a Ti leaf from Hawaii the other day in the course of my work (I
>have a part-time job as an agricultural quarantine inspector), and was
>wondering how damaging it is, and what other plants it might harm besides
>dracena.  I had never seen anything like the little spiral before.
Nan Sterman
San Diego County California
Sunset zone 24, USDA hardiness zone 10b or 11

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