Whitefly Commonly Found on the Underside of Leaves

Commonly found on houseplants and in greenhouses, the whitefly is a sap-sucking insect that is often found in thick crowds on the undersides of leaves. Any time infested plants are disturbed, great clouds of the winged adults fly into the air. Different stages yield similar damages, both nymphs and adults harm plants by sucking the juices from new growth causing stunted growth, leaf yellowing and reduced yields. Because of this your plants become weak and susceptible to disease. Similar to aphids, whiteflies secrete honeydew, so leaves maybe sticky or covered with a black sooty mold. Whiteflies are also responsible for transmitting several plant viruses.

Regionally in southern and coastal states whiteflies are found year-round in outdoor gardens, while in northern areas year-round infestations are possible only indoors. Plants that may be affected include more than 250 ornamental and vegetable plants. Citrus, squash, poinsettia, potato, cucumber, grape, tomato and hibiscus are commonly infested.

Whitefly young nymphs overwinter on the leaves of host plants. Then in late spring adult females deposit 200-400 eggs in circular clusters on the undersides of upper leaves. Thereafter the eggs hatch in 5-10 days and first instar nymphs, which resemble small mealybugs and are called crawlers, move a short distance from the egg before flattening themselves against the leaf to feed. After this phase the remaining nymphal stages (2nd, 3rd and 4th) do not move.

Finally there occurs a non-feeding pupal stage and within a week, young adults emerge to repeat the cycle. Study demonstrates that there are many generations per year as whiteflies develop from egg to adult in approximately 25 days at room temperature. Whitefly adults may live for one to two months. Each of the immature whitefly stages are easily overlooked. All of them are usually pale, almost translucent, and blend with the color of the leaf to which they are attached as superficially they are similar to several scale insects.

These insect pests use their piercing, needlelike mouthparts to suck sap from phloem, the food-conducting tissues in plant stems and leaves. Significantly large populations can cause leaves to turn yellow, appear dry, or fall off plants. Just as aphids do, whiteflies excrete a sugary liquid called honeydew, so leaves may be sticky or covered with black sooty mold that grows on honeydew. The whitefly feces, or honeydew, may also attract ants. Ants act as parasite bodyguards as the ants often protect whitefly immatures from predators and parasitoids. These ants interfere with the activities of natural enemies that may control whiteflies and other pests.

Yet another problem associated with their presence may be the build up of sticky honeydew which can spur the development of an ugly black-sooty mold and may, if in great quantity, negatively affect the growth of the plants. The stickiness of the honeydew can attract dirt and debris and lower the overall value of the crop.

If they are not defeated early in the game whiteflies can, before damaged parts can be auto-corrected and outgrown by the continued development of the plants, cause considerable economical damage to an otherwise salable crop. They feed by sucking plant sap or juices. This feeding activity will normally cause leaf spotting and yellowing or interveinal chlorosis. Both of these can affect the plant’s appearance and value and may even, if left unchecked, kill the plant. Moreover, it can aid the transmission of various plant diseases.

Protect your trees and bushes from attack by Whitefly. Zimmerman Tree Services provides expert, licensed professional protection of your plants from infestation of the invasive, devastating Whitefly pests. There are different Whitefly treatment methods that may be applied to trees and hedges.

Mosquito Life Cycles In South Florida

The life cycle of the mosquito takes place in four distinct stages, from egg through to adulthood. About every third day during their lifespan, female mosquitoes lay eggs, usually in clumps of 100 to 300. Mosquito eggs are deposited either as rafts floating on the surface of standing water or on the ground in areas that regularly flood. These flying blood-suckers can lay eggs in as little as one inch of water. Mosquito eggs, generally white when laid, cannot hatch unless they are in water, usually for two to three days.

When the eggs hatch, the larvae emerge. They are called wigglers because that’s how they swim. Most of the time, they hang from the surface of the water, breathing through tubes. These mosquito wigglers feed on organic matter in the water, shed their skins four times over about a week, and develop into pupae. Larvae are the easiest to kill, using oils that block their breathing or bacteria that poison them.

Falling into the deepest part of the water when threatened by predators, the mosquito pupae are called tumblers. They are shaped like commas, partially encased in cocoons, with the head at one end and tiny flippers at the other. Breathing through tubes like the larvae, the pupae do not feed while developing. It takes about four days for the the adult mosquito to emerge.

The newly emerged adults climb out of the water to rest and wait for their bodies to dry out. Taking a day or two to fully develop their reproductive organs, the males then seek out a female, by the sound of her wing beats, for mating. They will live about three to five days after that, feeding on fruit and plant nectar. The females mate once, but continue laying eggs after every blood meal. Under the best conditions, they can live up to a month or two.

Mosquitoes generally feed on plant nectar and fruit juice. Male mosquitoes do not take blood, so when you feel a mosquito plunge into your skin and start siphoning your blood, you can bet it is a female, every time. As a rule female mosquitoes start hunting as the sun goes down and will continue a few hours into the night, searching for any warm-blooded creature, such as people, dogs, cats, birds, and wildlife. Carbon dioxide – which we exhale – and lactic acid from our sweat combine to make us smell like a mosquito buffet. Mosquitoes can see us moving and feel our body heat and can pick up the scent from 100 feet.

Certified Arborists Specialize in Raising, Maintaining and Removing Trees

An arborist can help determine what special care you might need to keep the trees and your yard in good shape if you have trees that are aged or diseased. Tree care is an investment that can lead to substantial returns. Well cared for trees are attractive and add considerable value to your property. Appropriate pruning techniques are essential for development of strong structure and desirable form. Poorly maintained trees can be a significant liability and improper pruning can cause long lasting damage.

An Arborist is a specialist in the care of individual trees. Proper tree care is an investment that can lead to substantial returns. Poorly maintained trees can be a significant liability. Pruning or removing trees, especially large trees, can be dangerous work. Tree work should be done only by those trained and equipped to work safely in trees.

When you hire a Certified Arborist for your tree service needs, you are selecting a specialist highly trained in tree care and maintenance. An arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) has demonstrated that he has the knowledge, experience, and training to provide you with appropriate tree services. All Certified Arborists are required to pass an extensive exam developed by the leaders in tree care. Additionally, a Certified Arborist must participate in continuing education to learn the latest advancements in tree care in order to maintain their certification.

Arborists specialize in raising, maintaining and removing trees. Prospective arborists typically need to complete bachelor's degree programs in fields like arboriculture, horticulture or environmental conservation. Arborists who apply pesticides to trees must be licensed; candidates may consider an apprenticeship under a licensed arborist prior to attaining their own license. They may also earn voluntary certification.

Individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care through experience and by passing a comprehensive examination developed by some of the nation’s leading experts on tree care are Certified Arborists. Certified Arborists must also continue their education to maintain their certification. Therefore, they are more likely to be up-to-date on the latest techniques in arboriculture.

Be an informed consumer. Educating yourself about some of the basic principles of tree care is one of the best methods to use in choosing an arborist. Your local garden center, extension agent, or city arborists are also excellent sources of information if you should have further questions. These professionals may also be able to refer you to an ISA Certified Arborist in your area.

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