Whiteflies are very small (about 1 mm in length), winged insects that appear as white dots on the underneath surface of the leaf, easily recognized as they take flight when leaves are rustled. They reduce plant vigor by sap feeding and allow growth of “sooty” mold on the honeydew exuded during feeding. Infested leaves also take on a chlorotic look in severe cases.
Whitefly populations can build up to damaging levels in the absence of natural predators, and pesticide resistance is a common problem with this pest. Consult the Vegetable IPM Web Site for recommended controls of this pest.