Photo by Melody

Silverleaf Whitefly (Bemisia argentifolii)

Order: Homoptera (ho-MOP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Aleyrodidae
Genus: Bemisia
Species: argentifolii (ahr-GEN-tuh-foh-lee) (Info)


No positives
1 neutral
7 negatives


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Bullhead City, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Davis, California
Goleta, California
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Carrabelle, Florida
Satellite Beach, Florida
Albany, Georgia
Elberton, Georgia
Boise, Idaho
Peoria, Illinois
Zachary, Louisiana
Jefferson City, Missouri
Carson City, Nevada
Lenoir, North Carolina
Williamsburg, Ohio
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Carolina, Puerto Rico
Fort Worth, Texas
Christiansted, Virgin Islands
Seattle, Washington

By gregr18
Thumbnail #1 of Silverleaf Whitefly (Bemisia argentifolii) by gregr18

By Dinu

Thumbnail #2 of Silverleaf Whitefly (Bemisia argentifolii) by Dinu

Member Notes:

Negative gatorkay On Sep 8, 2006, gatorkay from Cary, NC wrote:

Don't know how to treat them. They have destroyed my blue/black salvias.

Negative julytate On Sep 16, 2006, julytate from Mustang, OK
(Zone 7a) wrote:

These have totally destroyed daylilies at my former house and my current house (Oklahoma). This is the ONLY bug I will spray with insecticide.

Neutral dun1kirk On Sep 25, 2006, dun1kirk from Berkeley, CA
(Zone 9a) wrote:

I cannot get rid of my whiteflies! Zone 9.

Negative sundevilcass On Sep 23, 2007, sundevilcass from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

The only "real" way to treat whiteflies is to control their infestation. This is done by regularly spraying down infested plants with sharp sprays of water to disperse the bugs. They are typically seasonal, and once the season has started it is nearly impossible to rid your garden of them completely until the season is over. Bathing your plants will help to keep numbers down.

Negative OldMom On May 25, 2009, OldMom from Norman, OK
(Zone 7a) wrote:

Whiteflies have caused me to avoid planting my favorites this year -- Hibiscus. For the last 4 years I have tried ladybugs, sprays (that claim to kill whiteflies), and a systemic powder (also claims to kill whiteflies). Nothing has worked. Where do they come from? Is there ANY WAY to get rid of them. Are there plants and flowers that are resistant to them?

Negative J_R_S On Jun 23, 2009, J_R_S from Carrabelle, FL wrote:

I have found one thing that sort of works. Forget all the commecial insecticide sprays that claim on the label to work on white flies. They don't. Not for more than a day or two and you have to poison everything in sight. But you can get relief by thoroughly soaking the tops and bottoms of ALL leaves on the infected plant(s) with a spray of liquid Spinosad D (Fertilome, Bionide and Green Light all make liquid concentrates of Spinosad D and a tablespoon makes a gallon of spray). Spinosad is a realtively safe organic compound that only attacks certain bugs and doesn't harm beneficial insects (although like anything you have to keep it away from water and bees). You can use it on fruits and vegetables up to 3 or 4 days before harvest. A thorough spray of it will make the tiny white creeps completely disappear for like maybe 4 or 5 days. Then a few will begin to reappear. It takes them about another week for the next generation to building up in large numbers -- at which time you can hit them with the Spinosad again. This is the best thing I've found, but who knows how long it will be before they develop an immunity to the Spinosad?

The other option is ladybugs and lacewings. They love to chow down on white flies. If you've got a bad infestation (and there doesn't seem to be any other kind), it might be worth purchasing a box or two of ladybugs and sending them out to do battle. Unfortunately for me, we have such strong continual breezes around here that the ladybugs I release don't stay around for long.

Side note: A spray of Spinosad D also will also completely eliminate the hard-to-kill citrus leaf miners... works far better than anything else (and far safer as well).

I organically co-exist with most garden pests, but I gotta say if I found a nuclear option that worked on these white flies I wouldn't hesitate. I have noticed several people mention that they got them on their poinsettias and I believe that's how they entered my greenhouse as well (and then spread outside to the rest of the garden). I attempted to rescue two abandoned poinsettias last Christmas and that's when the trouble started.

Negative magic_trix On Jul 13, 2009, magic_trix from MADRID
Spain wrote:

Whatever I try, they just keep coming back and coming back and coming back. HELP!!! They've totally infested all the plants on the terrace and are slowly killing them off ...

Have tried growing marigolds - they supposedly don't like the smell - washing with soapy water, commercial spray ...

Any advice??

Negative adeniumgrower On May 19, 2015, adeniumgrower from KINGSHILL, MS wrote:

I am trying to get rid of whitefly by having a yellow lightbulb lit in the area all day and until after full dark. There are yellow sticky traps for them, so what seems to be happening is that they land on the bulb and burn up. Some stick to the bulb. This is seeming to keep their numbers down a bit. I am also looking for their favorite plants, to be used as catch plants.

Ugh, I brought home one little plant from a nursery that had them. from now on, I will carefully inspect every leaf of every plant I buy and bring home!

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