Steps to Detect & Contain Whitefly Infestation in & around Your Swimming Pool
South Florida is popularly known for its pristine beaches and lazy sunshine. This beautiful region, though, has an infestation problem. Along with its seemingly vast immigrants of catfish, pythons, and parakeets, the Rugose Spiraling Whitefly has been giving headaches to homeowners and service technicians.
This pest arrived in 2009 and since then has become very rampant from the Florida Keys to Palm Beach County. It leaves a stick film pretty much like that of honeydew that can neutralize a number of chemicals, particularly chlorine. It also deposits black goo on furniture, decks, and railings.
There are actually two kinds of whiteflies that are causing the problem in the area. The first is the older Ficus Whitefly and the newer to our area is the Rugose Spiraling Whitefly. It is the latter that is the latest cause of anxiety for the residents and pest-control companies around these days. Among its favorite hosts is the coconut palm, a plant that is often planted near swimming pools. It is far more destructive than the Ficus Whitefly as it is not picky on what it feeds on so it has a wide range of hosts. Presently, Rugose Spiraling Whitefly is in the stage of establishing itself and it has found its favorite plants in coconut palms, gumbo limbo trees, birds of paradise and black olive trees. So, like Ficus, the Rugose also favors trees growing near swimming pools. It will appear on these plants first, but can later spread to almost everything in the surroundings. Once established, it is sure to cause a lot of damage with the wax and honey dew produced by it. It makes plants look ugly as the leaves look white polka dotted with the infestation. Swimming pools look messy with dead whiteflies, wax and honeydew. But it’s best to detect a whitefly infestation early to start getting rid of it before it causing extensive damage to pool systems and the landscape. If left untreated, it can be quite costly to get rid of the whitefly.
For pool care, it is ideal to take a close look at your landscape once or twice a week and check for the whitefly infestation. The sooner you detect, the easier it is to control. The simple ways of pool maintenance can save you from a lot of suffering later on.
If your swimming pool has been infested with these pests, here are some things that you can do to keep them at bay and even totally eliminate them.
- Hire pest control or do it yourself. There are several pest control companies in the area that know how to treat your infestation. And there are DIY pest control solutions available in the market today; your local extension service can advise you of the best way to treat the infestation on your plants and trees. If going the DIY pest control route, the most important thing is to use the product as directed. Spreading the product on the foliage is not always recommended as you can potentially kill insects that actually feed on these white flies.
- Watch stabilizer and chlorine levels. Perform pool maintenance regularly, especially making sure that your chlorine and stabilizer levels are a little higher than the usual. This will prevent your pool from turning green. This will also maintain its sanitation despite the pest infestation.
- Clean filters more often. The filters of typical-sized swimming pool infested with whiteflies need to be washed every week so that it flows at its maximum. More frequent pool cleaning will help in controlling the sticky film from the whiteflies.
- Remain patient yet proactive. Whitefly infestation will not disappear by itself, nor can it be easily wiped out overnight. This means that you will have to keep up with your efforts to control and eradicate these pests. Schedule regular trimming and pest control.
- Use More Chlorine. Some pool owners are putting more chlorine than the usual amounts into their swimming pools to keep chlorine levels up.
Experts are saying that the first step in getting rid of whiteflies is to remove them from the trees. This can be done by washing the trees with water at full blast and then follow up with pest control treatments.
There are a variety of techniques that can be effective in alleviating the problem of pool maintenance if you have a whitefly infestation. Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches has trained professionals who will do their best to maintain your pool in tip-top shape while the whitefly infestation is being taken care of or contact us by clicking here.