Pest of the Month November 2012 – Ficus Whitefly (Singhiella simplex) – (Pest Alert)

  • Distribution: Native to southeastern Asia.  Introduced to U.S. – Florida (2007), California (2012)
  • Hosts: various Ficus species (F. bengalensis, F. benjamina, F. microcarpa), Rhododendron indica
  • Damage: Feeding may cause yellowing of leaves, defoliation, and branch dieback.  High populations stunt growth of young trees.
  • Field ID: adults have white wings with faint grayish-brown markings and dark red eyes.  Fly readily when disturbed.  Nymphs have light green to tan oval bodies. Pupae with red eyes. Immature stages on both lower and upper surfaces of leaves.  Eggs are yellow to light brown and elongate, deposited mostly along the midvein on the underside of leaves.

Source: Ficus Whitefly (Singhiella simplex), County of Los Angeles Department of Agriculture Commissioner/Weights and Measures, October 2012.