Pest new to bay area damages plants and trees

Belleair Shores, Fla. - Deborah Roseman has lived in Belleair Shore for seven years and takes great care to have a beautiful yard. A month ago she noticed a cobweb like substance on some of her plants and trees, that then turned into a thick black soot.

The culprit is a little white fly. Thought to be originally from Asia, they made their way into the Miami area five years ago and wreaked havoc on the landscape. The Whitefly has moved up the coast in the last few months and has made its way into the bay area.

"It is an exotic out of south Florida that is transmitted by bringing plants or contaminated tools from those areas." said Deborah.

The Whitefly lays its eggs on the underside of plants and surrounds them with this white nest-like structure that resembles a cobweb. That gets left behind and eventually turns to the black soot that severely damages the plant. Deborah says this isn't just a one time swarm. The Whitefly unfortunately is here to stay.

"We're going to be treating in the next few days. I understand we're going to have to treat again in three months. Its something we have to treat to try to save these trees." said Deborah.

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