Earlier this year, the discovery of the Q biotype silverleaf whitefly was reported from Arizona and, subsequently, other states. The Q biotype could pose a significant threat to the ornamentals industry, as well as the U.S. cotton and vegetable industries, because it is reportedly less susceptible to many of the insecticides that growers currently rely on to manage the B biotype. However, at this point, industry experts are saying the pest is controllable if handled properly.
Within the last couple of weeks the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) and the Society of American Florists (SAF) put together a “Best Guess” piece of literature that suggests how to deal with the Q biotype if you think you have them. (For more detailed information about the ANLA and SAF letter visit our archived news at www.gpnmag.com  or read last week’s GPN Weekly .)
GPN spoke to Jim Bethke, research associate in the Department of Entomology at the University of California-Riverside, who is one of the researchers working on the Q biotype.
Bethke confirmed that the Q biotype has entered ornamental production in the U.S.; “however,” Bethke argued, “in my opinion it will not be an insurmountable problem to deal with. It will require awareness and diligence, and with the correct pesticide and good coverage, I’m confident this insect can be handled.”
As far as the indications that there are some pesticide issues, Bethke added, “Early indications are that there are a number of pesticides effective against the Q biotype. How long they last is another question, and that largely depends on grower use patterns. Yes, this insect is more tolerant and adaptable to insecticides, but that means going back to the basics. Avoid obvious causes of control failures: 1) properly identify the pest, 2) good application coverage is key and 3) use an effective pesticide.”
For in-depth information on the Q biotype as well as a look at the “Best Guess” piece visit.
The “Best Guess” piece, which can be found at http://www.mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/lso/bemisia/bemisia.htm , contains information such as: