Among the dreadful insects of agriculture, Whitefly is an exceptional breed of insects that not only cause damage through feeding but also spread plant diseases. The plant diseases caused by them are vulnerable to the plants and gets distributed rapidly along with the increase in mass of whiteflies. The establishment of the disease creates a huge loss for the land owner when it is left unnoticed.
There are around 1600 varieties of whitefly that exist. Whiteflies belonging to genus Bemisia are responsible for the spread of the disease which includes Bemisia tabaci and B. argentifoli. The destructive characteristic of Bemisia tabaci and B. argentifoli will be the transmission of plant viruses like Bean calico mosaic, Bean dwarf mosaic, Bean golden mosaic, tomato mottles, African cassava mosaic, Tomato yellow leaf-curl, etc. The attack of these viruses is spotlighted on plants such as potatoes, tomatoes, cassava, beans, cucumber, bitter melon, moqua, snake guard, winter melon, cotton and sweet potatoes. Consequently, this ensures that temperate crops are being targeted by these insects.
In US, squash whitefly and sweet potato whitefly is estimated to exist since 18th century and was considered to be the most economic depression caused insects resistive to nearly all kinds of insecticides. They sometimes cause the physiological disarray in plants, for example: unbalanced ripening of tomatoes and stunted growth in cotton. Development in the population is carried by female whitefly laying eggs under the leaves which resemble white patches to the naked eye.
The yellowing of foliage leaves at the top occurs due to carbohydrate deficiency created by the insect feeding on leaves lying on the lower part of the plant. In some cases, honeydew excreted by the whitefly gets deposited causing a fungal disease called Sooty Mould on leaves, which creates black patches over the leaves. In order to get rid of these infections it is necessary to control the population of whiteflies that can be achieved by reducing the eggs laid under the leaves.
The removal of eggs is a hectic job, and it can be done effectively by Organic treatment of using mineral oil such as Neem oil for this purpose. Neem oil being an organic product has the capability of hindering the digestive action of whitefly and also can eradicate the white patches of eggs that are lying. Spray Neem oil regularly in the infected areas twice a week to control the whiteflies as soon as possible. Farmers in United States suffering from menace of whiteflies can make use of pure neem oil as an organic pesticide!
Author: Adam Teaser - neem
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