Whiteflies typically feed on the undersides of plant leaves. In the tropics and subtropics, whiteflies have become one of the most serious crop protection problems. Economic losses are estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Whiteflies feed by tapping into plants, introducing toxic saliva and decreasing the plants' overall turgor pressure. Since whiteflies congregate in large numbers, susceptible plants can be quickly overwhelmed. Further harm is done by mold growth encouraged by the honeydew whiteflies secrete.
• Whiteflies are small, soft-bodied, winged insects (as small as 1/12 in.) closely related to aphids.
• Whiteflies can be found in most any region and are capable of hibernating and reproducing throughout the year in warmer climates.
• Whiteflies are active during the daytime so they are easier to spot than some other nocturnal pests.