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Pest Information

Mulberry whitefly

Mulberry whitefly

  • Latin Name: Tetraleurodes mori
  • Common Name: Mulberry whitefly
  • Latin Family Name: Aleyrodidae
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Mulberry whitefly
Mulberry whitefly
Mulberry whitefly


Probably native to the U.S., where it can be found in Florida, Tennessee, and California, and probably other states where citrus and other host plants occur.


Despite its common name this is not often found on mulberry, but may be an important pest on citrus, guava, ash, and laurel. The female deposits the eggs on the lower surface of a leaf, often in a circular pattern and usually accompanied by abundant fluffy white wax. Heavy infestations can nearly cover the lower surfaces of the leaves, leading to heavy production of honeydew. Typical whitefly life cycle of eggs laid over the surface of the leaf hatching to the mobile first instar nymph. As this moves to the second instar the legs are lost and the insect becomes sessile, feeding in one place through the next nymph stages and the pupa.


The adult female is a powdery yellow with brownish-red eyes, and resembles a tiny moth. The wings have a number of dark spots on them, and are held slightly roof-like over the abdomen while at rest. The pupa is the distinctive stage of this species, with an oval, shiny, dark black body surrounded by a white fringe of long wax strands that are more than half the width of the body of the pupa. Some patches of white wax appear on the dorsal surface of the body.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

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.

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