Potentially a destructive pest on citrus, but generally kept under control by a natural wasp parasite that appears to have been introduced with the whitefly when it entered the U.S. It has a fairly wide host range of ornamental trees and shrubs, including citrus, gardenia, camellia, rhododendron, oak, Ficus, and others. Females deposit eggs on the foliage, preferring very young emerging leaves and normally ovipositing along the leaf margins.
Initiating control as soon as a few whiteflies are noticed will increase the chances of success. Contact insecticides often provide very little control due to the repellency of the wax on the insect and the occurrence of resistance to may insecticides. A systemic product that can penetrate the plant’s tissues may be most effective. Horticultural oils also will help by coating the insects and smothering them. Reapplications at 5 to 7 day intervals may be needed, and any sprays should be directed at the lower surface of the leaf and applied thoroughly.