For the past several months you have been hearing about the emergence of the Q biotype whitefly. Recently, GPN learned from multiple sources that there have been more cases confirmed throughout the United States, making the Q biotype whitefly a widespread pest. As of press time, the Q biotype Technical Advisory Committee (QTAC) confirmed the following states have Q biotype: Arizona, California, Georgia, New York, Michigan and Oregon. Additionally, the latest infestation reports show that Q biotype is invading other crops as well.
The QTAC suggests following the basics of pest control — scouting, sanitizing, etc. — to prevent an infestation. Use good management practices with chemical control, use screens to keep whiteflies out, work with biological controls, etc. A QTAC statement advises, “First of all, don’t panic! Growers that have the Q biotype in other parts of the world are still producing crops.”
Regarding implications of pesticide resistance issues, 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, said, “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.”
The QTAC’s Web site, http://www.mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/lso/bemisia/bemisia.htm , goes into detail about the Q biotype whitefly. It includes almost anything a grower needs to know about the pest and what to do if you think you have it. The site is updated on a regular basis with the most up-to-date Q biotype information. Also make sure to look for all of the latest information in upcoming issues of GPN Weekly.