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Aleurodide

The white fly

Known by the name of whiteflies, whiteflies are small insects of tropical origin, which however proliferate now also in our areas and attack in particular plants found in hot and humid environments. The name of “white fly” or “white flies” is due not only to the small size of these winged insects, but also to the characteristic whitish color given by the bloom that covers the wings, similar to a flour: from this characteristic also derives the name scientific knowledge of these small insects, since “aleyron” in Greek means “flour”. Their presence is therefore easily identifiable: you will notice white spots on the underside of the leaves, which if not contrasted can spread in large numbers and lead to the death of the plant. from which they take away the nourishment necessary for development. Eliminating these parasites is therefore essential to be able to defend the greenery of your garden. Some plants, in particular, are more prone to attack by whiteflies: these are begonias, surfinias, petunias, clicamines, poinsettias and geraniums. These insects cause double damage to plants, as their presence also favors the spread of other bacteria and viruses that can damage the plant even more severely. of poinsettias and geraniums. These insects cause double damage to plants, as their presence also favors the spread of other bacteria and viruses that can damage the plant even more severely. of poinsettias and geraniums. These insects cause double damage to plants, as their presence also favors the spread of other bacteria and viruses that can damage the plant even more severely.

Reproduction


To make these enemies of the green even more fearful is their speed of reproduction, such that, in an environment favorable to them, they can give rise to several generations during the year, with a very rapid colonization of the areas of the plant. . On the other hand, their mobile characteristic goes to the advantage of the growers: by moving the plant they will fly up, not abandoning it forever but at least thus signaling the presence of the infestation in progress. Each female is usually able to lay 150 to 200 eggs, which are located on the underside of the leaves and are recognized as characteristic light spots. The nymphs will be born from the eggs, which will have to develop in four different stages before they can be considered adults. This evolutionary path requires the about a month, therefore it is important to intervene promptly when the presence of these insects is found, in order to prevent them from reaching adulthood and giving birth to a new generation, which in turn will lay eggs on the plant. The proliferation is favored by warm and humid environments, in which there is poor ventilation: hence the importance of a correct pruning of the plants, which favors the passage of air even between the internal fronds. Plants grown in greenhouses are also subject to frequent attacks, where the recreated environment can be very favorable to these insects of tropical origin. adulthood and give birth to a new generation, which in turn will lay eggs on the plant. The proliferation is favored by warm and humid environments, in which there is poor ventilation: hence the importance of a correct pruning of the plants, which favors the passage of air even between the internal fronds. Plants grown in greenhouses are also subject to frequent attacks, where the recreated environment can be very favorable to these insects of tropical origin. adulthood and give birth to a new generation, which in turn will lay eggs on the plant. The proliferation is favored by warm and humid environments, in which there is poor ventilation: hence the importance of a correct pruning of the plants, which favors the passage of air even between the internal fronds. Plants grown in greenhouses are also subject to frequent attacks, where the recreated environment can be very favorable to these insects of tropical origin.

Symptoms of the plant


The presence of these small white insectsit must be eradicated because it represents a danger for the plant: first of all, these parasites feed on the lifeblood of the occupied plant and therefore steal valuable nourishment for the growth and development of flowers and fruits. Furthermore, living on the leaves, the whiteflies produce a viscous and sugary liquid called honeydew: it is harmful to the plants because, depositing on the leaves, it prevents the correct transpiration and filtering of the sun’s rays, which will be concentrated causing wounds and burns to the leaves. As seen, the presence of whiteflies can also cause attack by other bacteria: the honeydew is still responsible, attracting fungi allowing their development. They will then cover the leaf, causing an inhibition of the processes related to chlorophyll photosynthesis.

Aleurodide: Chemical and biological fight


Ignoring the presence of these parasites, therefore, is not possible and it is indeed necessary to intervene as soon as possible when the infestation is identified. You can opt for biological control, relying on valid enemies of the whiteflies, such as parasitoid hymenoptera or predatory myrids. However, these insects are especially effective at low temperatures and when the infestation is not too extensive and the presence of whiteflies is limited. Otherwise it will be necessary to intervene with the chemical fight, while paying attention to select products compatible with the type of cultivation to be protected. It is in fact important to identify the right chemicals that can annihilate the presence of whiteflies, to avoid a new reproductive cycle, but at the same time they are able to not cause damage to cultivated plants. The fight can be difficult because the eggs, sprinkled with a waxy layer, are difficult to eliminate, while over time the new generations can prove immune to the most common pesticides. It is therefore necessary to eradicate the colony in a short time, with specific treatments carried out in short periods for a specific time frame. Biological control is more effective in greenhouses or in any case in closed and protected environments. with specific treatments carried out in short periods for a specific period of time. Biological control is more effective in greenhouses or in any case in closed and protected environments. with specific treatments carried out in short periods for a specific period of time. Biological control is more effective in greenhouses or in any case in closed and protected environments.

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