Sticky White Fly "Honeydew" On Florida Roofs!

Apple Roof Cleaning

Roof Cleaning Instructor
I have heard of, but have yet to see, a new type of infestation on roofs down in South Florida, caused by the white fly epidemic.
Have any of you roof cleaners down in South Florida tried to clean this stuff off of roofs yet ?
I understand it is resistant to the standard roof cleaning chemicals we all are using.
Evidently, the secretions of these White Flies leaves a sticky Goo on roofs that then attracts Mold.

I just talked to a roof cleaner down in Broward County Florida who told me that this stuff is "immune" to the roof cleaning chemicals.
He said he shot a roof with this crap on it several times, and no dice!

My thought on this problem some of us Florida Roof Cleaners will have to face one day are these.

Sodium or Potassium Hydroxide, or a blend of both, and a surfactant, may be required, as well as a very low pressure rinse.
Forget about SH, for this stuff!

I have no intentions of selling roof cleaning chemicals, or equipment, but if I did, I would be hard at work, developing a roof cleaning product that is effective at removing this growing problem!

Perhaps Russ Johnson, or AC Lockyer of Softwash Systems will take the lead on this, and corner the market on this growing problem ?

These Whiteflies are spreading north from the east coast of florida, and it is just a matter of time before they cross the Everglades, and work their way possibly up here to Tampa and Orlando!

Roofs unfortunate enough to be under trees really have problems apparently!
These Whiteflies nest in the Trees, then drop their secretions on the roofs below, and then Mold and Algae stick to these Whitefly secretions from the airborne spores, and bingo, BIG PROBLEMS !















 

Apple Roof Cleaning

Roof Cleaning Instructor
Here is some more stuff about them!
Whiteflies hit Palm Beach County homeowners’ trees, plants, pools




The Rugose spiraling whitefly on the underneath of a banana tree leaf.

Related

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Rugose spiraling whitefly cover the underside of a coconut palm frond.



Joseph Siciliano with Tomasello Pest Management drives a needle into the trunk of a coconut palm to treat an infection of Rugose spiraling whitefly.



Dead black sooty mold on the frond of an areca palm which was treated for Rugose spiraling whitefly about 2 weeks ago.



By Susan Salisbury
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The Rugose spiraling whitefly is wreaking havoc throughout Palm Beach County, damaging landscape plants and trees and leaving a sticky excrement called honeydew and its accompanying sooty mold on patios, walkways, outdoor furniture and vehicles.
“They have pretty much infested everything I have,” said West Palm Beach resident Christopher Collier. “They look like white polka dots on every leaf of everything. It’s ugly in and of itself.”
His Christmas palms, birds of paradise plants and a banana tree were covered with a white, waxy material called flocculent that looks like fluffy dandruff. Collier’s swimming pool was full of dead whiteflies, honeydew and wax.
“The pool looks like it has snow in it,” Collier said.
The spiraling whitefly, first detected in the U.S. in Miami-Dade County in March 2009, has been making its way north. It’s not the same insect as the ficus whitefly, which has destroyed many ficus hedges and cost homeowners thousands of dollars to combat it. University of Florida experts say the spiraling whitefly does not kill healthy, mature trees, but the long-term effects of multiple infestations are not known.
“The Rugose spiraling whitefly is taking center stage these days. It definitely makes more of a mess than the ficus whitefly. It is more noticeable. It’s an omnivore,” said Laura Sanagorski, a UF Palm Beach County Extension environmental horticulturist.
“There are plants we have not found it on yet, for sure. We are looking at it like there is nothing it won’t reproduce on. It’s got its favorite plants as far as really establishing itself and causing damage with the wax and the honey dew to the point that it is really an issue,” Sanagorski said.
The whitefly prefers gumbo limbo trees, coconut palms, birds of paradise and black olive trees, and will probably appear on those first. But it also can be found on hibiscus, sea grapes and dozens of other plants.
The extension service is recommending the use of systemic products in the neonicotinoid family, applied to the soil or trunk rather than the foliage. That way the beneficial insects which eat or parasitize the whiteflies by laying eggs inside the juvenile form of the pest will have a chance to do their job.
“Ideally, someone will be scouting their landscape once or twice a week and taking a quick look around. If you can catch the problem sooner rather than later, it is much easier to control,” Sanagorski said.
The insects typically feed on the underside of leaves.
John FitzGerald, a lawn and ornamental department supervisor at Tomasello Pest Control in West Palm Beach, said the whitefly infestation seems to be getting worse.
“I’ve been in business over 50 years. I’ve never dealt with anything like this,” FitzGerald said. “It has been a tremendous boost to our business. It is a money-making proposition. We have a lot more people calling us with this problem.
“It is affecting so many different kinds of plants. Usually you will get a bug that is affecting only one kind of plant. It is getting out of hand,” he said.
Tomasello treats larger trees such as palm trees with injections of insecticide at a cost of $1 per inch of circumference. A 40-inch tree would cost $40 to inject, a method that starts to work within 24 hours. The minimum charge per visit is $75. A palm also can be treated with a chemical root drench, which kills the white flies after a few weeks, FitzGerald said.
Pool maintenance companies are also experiencing an increase in customer calls. Swimming pools are turning green as whiteflies and their excretions deplete the chlorine. People unaware of the whiteflies are blaming their pool companies.
“The honeydew leaves a huge white mark all around the pool,” said Steve Adler, owner of Pool Guys of Palm Beach, which has 600 customers from Boca Raton to Jupiter. “It is a nasty, weird sticking substance. It goes into the filter and clogs it. If you don’t have the proper circulation in the pool, it will cloud and could turn green.
“It took us a while to figure out what was going on. It was not public knowledge that the whiteflies were causing these problems. In April and May it hit us really hard in Manalapan,” Adler said. “We started checking for leaks and different sources of problems, then we finally caught on. We talked with other pool companies.
“If the homeowner won’t take care of the problem, we can’t keep up,” Adler said. “We dropped customers who would not take care of it, but almost everybody did.”
Property owner who are having their landscapes treated face enormous and continuing costs. They worry about re-infestations from untreated neighboring properties.
“The most distressing part is the fact that I just had someone out yesterday to give me a quote. I can have them spray and do arbor jets. Not all the neighbors will do that,” Collier said. “I do feel like the city should step up to the plate and at least treat the swales.”


Rugose spiraling whitefly
Scientific name: aleurodicus rugioperculatus
First detected in the U.S. in Miami-Dade County on a gumbo limbo tree on March 11, 2009, it is believed to have originated in Central America.
Plant damage: Whiteflies suck nutrients from plants. They cause the plant to wilt, drop leaves and yellow. Most noticeable are an abundance of the white, waxy material covering the leaves and also excessive sooty mold. Whiteflies produce ‘honeydew,’ a sugary substance which causes the growth of sooty mold.
Long-term effects: Not yet known. However, whiteflies cause plant decline, defoliation and branch dieback.
Whiteflies do not typically kill large, healthy trees, shrubs and palms. However it is unknown what the effect will be of continuous whitefly infestations. Untreated plants covered in sooty mold will decline.
Management: For small plants and early stages of infestation, thoroughly wash plants with a strong stream of water. Follow up with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil sprayed once a week. Repeat as needed.
For larger plants, ornamental trees, heavily infested plants: Wash off plants. Consider using a systemic insecticide, labeled for whitefly control in landscapes, that can be applied to the soil as a drench, granule or tablet. Systemics may take several weeks to be effective for large trees but can last for nine to 12 months.
Hire a professional to treat large trees and shrubs that cannot be hosed off, or if your treatments are not effective.
Source: University of Florida IFAS Extension




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Posted by mepearson3 at 8:16 a.m. Aug. 16, 2012COMMENTS

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12 Comment(s)Comment(s) 1-12 of 12



The systemic Criterion works very well and you can get it at Uncle Bim's on Belvedere Road. I waited until my gumbo linbo dropped its leaves and now I treat every 2 months or so. There is a little infestation but a lot better now. With some plants, if you can cut them down or back like bananas and treat the new growth it is a lot easier to deal with.........





The pool guy quoted here doesn't know what he's talking about when he says that the pools are turning green because the honeydew clogs the pump causing poor circulation. The honeydew depletes the chlorine and also causes high PHOSPHATE levels which is food for the algae. Extra chlorine won't work because the high phosphates just burn it off immediately. You have to treat the phosphates with a phosphate remover w/ enzyme. Once the phosphates are eliminated then chlorine will stay in the water, thus getting rid of the algae. Of course, the trees need to be treated first or you will never be able to keep the pool blue, unfortunately, if the neighbors don't treat their trees, the pool will be an ongoing battle.






  • Posted by RickLeAndro
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2 years ago I got black sooty mold from the scale insect on my mango tree. The tree was small so I actually washed the mold off each leaf with a sponge and mild soap and water and this worked great!

I wonder if this physical washing off of the whitefly from each leaf would work on smaller plants?

Anyone know?






A point to remember is that white fly treatments must be followed up! This is not a "1 and done" procedure.Get your neighbors involved aware and doing their part. It's true, landscape upkeep has never been so challenged and at a time when people have less money it really makes me think we are on the verge of a historic landscape transition. Please consider alternatives to our traditional expensive and non sustainable landscape. Read up on xeriscape landscaping for SFLA. You will save water by using native plants, save maintenance costs by having less lawns and choose plants that are not effected by white fly. Whole communities should transition and they would benefit by saving tons of money over time! It's a green thing to do and the environment will thank you! http://www.Tropicaltreeandlandscape.com






You can simply wash your plants off with soapy water.

Also ladybugs love to eat whitefly, so that is an alternative treatment that works for your whole neighborhood. The problem with the pesticides is that while you may treat your trees, it takes 30 -60 days to start working and your neighbor may not do anything so you still have gunk all over your car. Ladybugs will disperse and help to treat not only your plants but others that are infested with whitefly on your block.






Consider not planting or supporting in any way the exotic plants/trade. Many of these diseases are coming from other countries when their exotic plants are imported here. GO NATIVE! Florida has many wonderful native plant species. I have converted my landscape to this habitat and none of these diseases are affecting any of these plants.






Calling a bug's sticky excrement "Honeydew" has got to be the best euphemism I've ever heard of.






  • Posted by MurielCohen
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I found a simple solution to problem & as far as depleting chlorine levels its bs it's just all these idiots don't no how to clean a pool without the machines u see on the back of trucks & trailers lol






To mepearson3; Don’t be too quick to say the Pool Guy Quoted doesn’t knot know. I and many others are often miss quoted by the press. The reporter gathers a lot of info from many sources, understands maybe 10% of what he has heard, and then writes a story as though he is an authority on the subject. With all the errors of his article intact, it’s passed to the editor who will take all of 15 seconds to carve out 1/3 of the words for space constraints.
Information found in a News Paper Format is always generalized and never authoritative and seldom accurate. Take the info you gather here (in the Post) and do your own research - that applies to all subjects, topics and articles. By the way I have first hand knowledge that the same reporting/editing standard is applied to political and criminal stories as well. Don’t believe anything you read without a lot of 3rd party conformation.

As far as Whitefly control; for quick control, I sprayed insecticide on everything. Got rid of all bugs. The problem, it has to be repeated with every new infestation. If we could get a good supply of Lady Bugs that would be the best solution. We need to release a lot of them and replete occasionally. Does anyone know where to get them that is cost effective.






 

Dan Manley

New member
I cleaned a 4400 SQFT metal roof located on lido beach that was infested with white fly honey dew and was the dirtiest metal roof I have ever seen. I cleaned the entire roof using a light roof cleaning mix and was able to remove 100% of the mold and honey dew residue. Since it was a metal roof all the roof cleaning was performed from a lift and was completed in under 2 hours. The customer was very pleased and signed us up to pressure clean his homes soffit, facia, gutters, walls, and guard wall surrounding his property.

I have not encounter since this metal roof so I can not speak for a shingle or tile roof. But from my experience from this metal roof it is no different then cleaning any other mold infested roof here in SWFL
 

Apple Roof Cleaning

Roof Cleaning Instructor
I cleaned a 4400 SQFT metal roof located on lido beach that was infested with white fly honey dew and was the dirtiest metal roof I have ever seen. I cleaned the entire roof using a light roof cleaning mix and was able to remove 100% of the mold and honey dew residue. Since it was a metal roof all the roof cleaning was performed from a lift and was completed in under 2 hours. The customer was very pleased and signed us up to pressure clean his homes soffit, facia, gutters, walls, and guard wall surrounding his property.

I have not encounter since this metal roof so I can not speak for a shingle or tile roof. But from my experience from this metal roof it is no different then cleaning any other mold infested roof here in SWFL
I just got off the phone with my friend Oliver Twist Pressure Washing, who is in West Palm Beach Florida area. He said he has encountered this Whitefly "Honeydew" on roofs before, especially if they are under infested trees.
He said they clean up, but it takes a much stronger roof cleaning solution then even tile roofs.
He told me he uses a 70% solution!
This is good news for all us Florida Roof Cleaners!
I was told yesterday by a Florida Roof Cleaner that he shot a roof infested with this stuff, and it did nothing!
 
We just had our Ficus tree in the backyard treated for white flies. They almost killed the tree. Almost every leaf fell off. No signs of any honeydew mess as far as I can see so far. I willtake a better look tomorrow to see if I can find any. Chris, I talked to Billy too. I think they may have been using a week mix to remove it and it didn't work. Not sure. Russ, if I find any of this I will be in touch and mail you a sample.
 

Russ Johnson

Equipment Expert
We just had our Ficus tree in the backyard treated for white flies. They almost killed the tree. Almost every leaf fell off. No signs of any honeydew mess as far as I can see so far. I willtake a better look tomorrow to see if I can find any. Chris, I talked to Billy too. I think they may have been using a week mix to remove it and it didn't work. Not sure. Russ, if I find any of this I will be in touch and mail you a sample.

Thanks Larry.
 

palm beach

New member
I know oliver t. Also. We see the fall out daily. Roofs, concrete, pavers, and furniture. We add a little more than sh and surf to our mix and at 40% chlori e the fallout cleans up really well but if the tree is not treated it will be black again in two weeks. When the palms and other trees are treated..I think they might use titanium dioxide or sodium percarb because we are seeing right under the palm fronds that are laying on the roof the mold is cleaned up. Been thinking of taking pics of this to see what you think they are using for treatment. No worried here I love those little bugs they have been keeping us busy. ..best summer ever feels like season Thank God for that nasty weather last week first light day in a very long time. . Lol

I see it now larry is going to be the catalyst for white fly outbreak in Kentucky. .lmao
 
Those white flies can't do Kentucky winters...

Absolutely correct. The pest control company said that they can't handle cold weather. We had them the past 2 years on the same tree and treated the tree ourselves with neomo oil and some kind of tea tree oil and a fugiside and got rid of them. They said this years outbreak is a new strain and stronger and harder to get rid of.
 

palm beach

New member
What I have seen is these little buggers dont die. When you spray the yard they make an exodus to your neighbors yard then once your treatment is stopped or effects run out they return. They can do alot of damage quickly.. most people we deal with don't even know they are infected until is to late. Then you have to deal with holes drilled in thousand dollar trees and the trunk weeping sap out and looking like crap. Ahhhhh mother nature.
 

Apple Roof Cleaning

Roof Cleaning Instructor
What I have seen is these little buggers dont die. When you spray the yard they make an exodus to your neighbors yard then once your treatment is stopped or effects run out they return. They can do alot of damage quickly.. most people we deal with don't even know they are infected until is to late. Then you have to deal with holes drilled in thousand dollar trees and the trunk weeping sap out and looking like crap. Ahhhhh mother nature.
That's why you want to add some Roof Snot to your favorite Insecticide! It makes it stick to the little bastards more better, and for longer period of time. LOL, I say spray them with the poisoned snot, let God sort them out.
 
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