Q-biotype whiteflies have been discoved in Texas. The good news is that there have not been any reports of whiteflies that could not be controlled. Look for more information once the Q-biotype Task Force has a better handle on the situation. In the meantime, check out my whitefly managment page. The "Management Program for Whiteflies on Propagated Ornamental with an Emphasis on the Q-biotype" will provide information on managing both B & Q-biotype whiteflies.
In the meantime remember the basics......
A good whitefly management program must have two goals. First, of course, is to help growers produce a high quality, salable crop for the final consumer. Second, but of equal importance, is preserving the chemical tools that agriculture uses to manage whiteflies. If we do not maintain the viability of effective chemical tools, it will be difficult for many growers to produce a salable crop. Consequently, the wise use of chemicals, through a scientifically based IPM program, is essential in this 21st Century. Europe has seen, and is suffering from, the results of overspraying. Insecticide misuse in the United States may result in silverleaf whitefly populations that cannot be controlled. It is important to remember that the Q-biotype whitefly is already resistant to a number of products commonly used. Chemical overspray could easily lead to B-biotype resistance.
The Task Force asks you to collaborate with us in this effort. It's not just about the challenges posed by the Q-biotype. It's about avoiding resistance development in any whitefly population.
What should commercial growers be doing?
1. Scout - essential. Inspect your crops at least weekly. Don't let the whiteflies get ahead of you, or your treatment options will be more limited.
2. Exclude or isolate. If at all possible, try to exclude whiteflies from your growing facility with screening material, and if possible, isolate the facility so that workers have to enter through an anteroom.
3. Practice good sanitation - essential. Keep weeds down, maintain good growing practices.
4. Inspect incoming shipments, and isolate if necessary. All of the major propagators are cooperating in this program, so you should not be receiving undue numbers of whiteflies. Because zero-tolerance is NOT the goal for anyone, you may see a whitefly or two when your shipments arrive. That's normal, and means that your propagator (or rooting station) is probably following good management practices. However, if you see many whiteflies on incoming shipments, keep those shipments separate from your other crops until they have been treated. And contact your propagator or rooting station - inform them about the situation. Ask whether they are biotyping their whiteflies, if they are monitoring resistance levels in their whitefly populations, and if they are following the Task Force's recommended Management Program.