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General Information

Common name: Whitefly

Whitefly species

Bandedwinged whitefly (Trialeurodes abutilonea)
Greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum)
Silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia argentifolii)
Spiraling whitefly (Aleurodicus disperses)
Sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci)

Host plants

Vegetables, fruit trees, ornamental plants, and weeds




Whiteflies, both the larvae and adults, pierce and suck the sap of the leaves. This causes the weakening and early wilting of the plant resulting in reduced plant growth. Their feeding may also cause yellowing, drying, premature dropping of leaves that result in plant death.
Whitefly produces honeydews that serve as the substrates for the growth of black sooty molds on leaves and fruit. The mold reduces photosynthesis causing the poor plant growth of the plant. Whitefly is the most important carrier of plant viruses that causes diseases of fiber crops, vegetables, fruit trees, and ornamentals.


Eggs are tiny, oval-shaped, about 0.25 mm in diameter, and stand vertically on the leaf surface. Newly laid eggs are white then turn brownish. They are deposited on the underside of leaves, sometimes in a circle or oval-shaped patterns.

Larvae are transparent, ovate, and about 0.3 to 0.7 mm in size and they move around on the plants looking for a feeding site upon hatching.

Pupae are dirty-white and surrounded by wax and honeydews. During this stage, the red eyes of the emerging adults are visible.

Adults are about 1mm long with two pairs of white wings and light-yellow bodies. Their bodies are covered with waxy powdery materials. They are found feeding on top of the plants. A female can produce as many as 200 eggs in her lifetime and mating is not necessary. It takes about 40 days to develop from egg to adult.
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