The Q&A Archives: Whitefly Problem

Question: My ficus hedge was infested early in the spring with whitefly (it's all over the South Florida area). I immediately treated it with a specific Bayer insecticide purchased at Home Depot, which said that it would be effective for whitefly and thrips, among others. The label also said that it would last for 12 months. The hedge still looks awful, has some thrips and I want to know what to do? Treat again? Fertilize to kick start new growth (there is some but very spotty, mostly looks dead, leafless)?

Answer: Keith,

If the additional damage was significant enough the heads will continue to look bad for a while though the product worked. I suggest you spray the foliage with an insecticidal soap product very early or very late in the day. This will help wash off the sooty material and will also do a fair job of controlling any remaining thrips or whiteflies. Check the hedge for whiteflies periodically and if need be treated again making sure to get good coverage throughout the hedge. In the meantime continue to water and fertilize the hedge regularly in order to encourage good regrowth and vigor.

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