Last Updated: July 30, 2018

Definition - What does Whitefly mean?

Whiteflies are a common insect pest that attack a variety of cultivated plants, including cannabis. The winged insects measure two milometers in length and have a whitish body color. They tend to congregate on the undersides of the plant’s leaves and they also lay their eggs there.

Each whitefly lays about 180 to 200 eggs. The eggs are microscopic. The whiteflies can produce four generations per year. They use their mouths to bite and cut into the plant’s skin and suck the sap. They especially enjoy feeding on young, tender marijuana plants.

MaximumYield explains Whitefly

The white fly thrives in a greenhouse or grow room setting where it enjoys the warm weather and ambient humidity. The first indication that a cannabis grower’s plants might have a whitefly infestation is when the foliage of the marijuana plant starts to turn yellow. The ends of the leaves will also start to dry out. The plant’s growth significantly slows and its overall appearance deteriorates.

After feeding on the sap of the marijuana plant, the insect secretes a honeydew-like excrement that accumulates on the foliage. The excrement usually starts to form a gray mold overgrowth, which turns black in time. Whiteflies are often easy to to detect; if a grower lightly shakes the marijuana plant, the whiteflies will fly off the foliage all at once.

Certain strains of marijuana are more at risk for developing whiteflies. Insecticidal soaps and neem oil work to control these irritating, highly damaging insects. Along white whiteflies, other common insects to look out for in a marijuana grow room include spider mites, fungus gnats, and aphids.

This definition was written in the context of Cannabis
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