UC Riverside



National Silverleaf Whitefly Progress Review


National Silverleaf Whitefly Progress Review

Small Insect, Major Chaos
The silverleaf whitefly reduces crop yields by sucking out plant nutrients and secreting a sticky honeydew that promotes the growth of fungus. The insect is responsible for causing billions of dollars in crop damage loss.

National Silverleaf Whitefly Progress Review

In 1992, UC Riverside entomologists reclassified the sweet potato whitefly strain B as a new species. The silverleaf whitefly is an insect responsible for widespread destruction of crops. For the next five years, scientists participated in a nationally coordinated research effort to develop management strategies for the insect. A second phase of the project ran from 1997 to 2001. The research provided better understanding of how the silverleaf whitefly operates – and how best to stop it.

Controls have been developed on most major crops, reducing losses. Today, growers and scientists alike have more effective and environmentally friendly methods for managing the silverleaf whitefly, thanks in large part to the research done at UCR.

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