Treatment protocols are essentially the same for both the ficus whitefly and the gumbo limbo spiraling whitefly. The spiraling whitefly requires a greater amount of non-toxic horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. Oils and soaps are less destructive to beneficial insects than other contact insecticides. These types of products are sprayed on the plants so thorough coverage of the infested leaves is required. Typically, several applications are required once a week for 4 weeks.
It is easier and less expensive to treat when the infestation first starts. Do not wait until you see the leaves covered in white floccules of wax, honeydew, or sooty mold. If the plant has yellow leaves or has dropped all the leaves, it is too late to apply any contact treatment. As soon as new growth is evident, it is critically important to apply a systemic drench to the soil to provide protection to new leaves. We use Merit or Imidacloprid which usually lasts for 6 months.