Worldwide distribution. In tropics and sub-tropics. Wide host range: bananas and many fruit trees, ornamentals and vegetables. Active at dawn and dusk. An important pest.
Direct damage results from adult whiteflies sucking sap from leaves and fruits causing early death; indirect damage results from sooty moulds growing on leaves covered by honeydew deposits, and blocking sunlight.
Eggs laid in spirals among wax by moth-like adults.
Natural enemies: parasitoid wasps (main control)
Cultural control: prune branches with heavy infestations.
Chemical control: use soap, white or horticultural oils; or synthetic pyrethroids, but insecticides may increase the problem by destroying natural enemies.