Whitefly on citrus. Symptoms and Treatment

small whiteflies on leaves trying to attack the tree, leaves and fruits

The whitefly is a class of insect that is part of the family composed of the “Aleurodids".

Generally, these insects grow approximately three millimeters and they go through about four stages during 12 months depending on the climate and being in greenhouses it is possible that they even have ten stages.

whiteflies on the leaves of some citrus tree

They normally appear in humid environments whose climates are composed of high temperatures, this is the reason why Spain turns out to be an ideal country for the development of these insectsespecially during the summer.

Apart from this, it is necessary to mention that whitefly infestation usually settles on citrus crops, being the most prominent because it conditions any intervention that is carried out in the other pests and / or diseases of which citrus fruits are usually victims.


Among the main symptoms that trees present when affected by the presence of the whitefly, it is usually the yellow color that its leaves acquire, which also become discolored and little by little they dry out until they fall off.

Apart from this, leaves develop a coating made of a shiny, sticky substance called molasses and that is expelled by insects. Said molasses causes in turn other inconveniences in an indirect way, since its sweetness inevitably attracts ants, mites and mealybugs, pests that end up being protected by the whitefly before the application of phytosanitary treatments.

Also, the presence of these insects causes weakening of sprouting on which it is located and even defoliation (depending on the variety). And when it comes to young plants, it is possible that the whitefly causes the death of the species.

However, in most cases, the damage is usually limited due to the production of agriculture and decrease in aesthetic value of ornamentals.

There are different methods to treat the presence of whitefly in citrus crops, which are:

Control treatments

Use yellow chromatic traps

It is possible to acquire them and / or make them easily at home, since they are basically yellow cards next to some adhesive material. The yellow color attracts this type of flies, so placing this class of traps around the affected plants will allow control of whitefly populations.

Manual withdrawal

Because it is the least harmful treatment, it is usually best to remove this insect manually; it is possible to do it when the number of insects is small And you have to have great patience, since being a small and flying insect, it can be a bit complex.


It only works with really small populations. When using this technique, make sure to use the lowest level of suction on the vacuum cleaner, in order to keep affected plants protected from further damage.

Home Treatment

It consists of example in marinating garlic or tobacco, prepare chilli and garlic infusion, and use fermented ivy extract and / or decoction of lamenta.

Ecological treatments

tiny whiteflies attacking citrus

Neem oil

Alters the life cycle of the whitefly, since it is a powerful insecticide It is obtained through both the fruits and the seeds of the tree that bears its name. It is possible to add it to the irrigation water to ensure that it is assimilated by the plant and remains inside for longer.

It is advisable to apply it every five days in order to cover the life cycle of the insect.

Potassium soap

It works through contact and allows to weaken the exoskeleton of the whitefly; In addition, it is possible to complement its application with the use of Neem oil.


The most convenient thing is to apply it every five days, since in this way it is possible to cover the life cycle of the whitefly.

If you want your citrus fruits not to suffer the attack of these annoying insects, follow our advice.

The content of the article adheres to our principles of editorial ethics. To report an error click here!.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.