Exotic scale insects (Hemiptera: coccoidea) and whiteflies (Hemiptera: aleyrodidae) in Florida's tropical fruits: an example of the vital role of early detection in pest prevention and management

Amanda C. Hodges, Gregory S. Hodges, Gail C. Wisler


The warm, tropical to subtropical climate of Florida in conjunction with trade and travel patterns creates an optimal environment for the introduction and establishment of exotic pests. For some of Florida's tropical fruit species, such as mango, avocado, papaya, passion fruit, guava, and carambola, exotic scales, mealybugs, and whiteflies have been especially problematic. Examples of some of these pests reported to the Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry (FDACS-DPI) database will be described. Additionally, information on scales, mealybugs, and whiteflies that could impact Florida's tropical fruit crops, if introduced, is provided. The past and potential impacts of exotic scales, mealybugs, and whiteflies provide a good example of the importance of early detection of non-native pests. The Southern Plant Diagnostic Network (SPDN), coordinated through the University of Florida, promotes the early detection of exotic pests through diagnostics, education, and information technology. The SPDN, one of the five regions of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), primarily links land grant university diagnostic labs in the southern region. Even though the SPDN/NPDN is mainly a network linking land grant universities, the SPDN/NPDN also communicates and cooperates with state and federal regulatory personnel, as appropriate for exotic pests issues.


extension education; invasive species; npdn; spdn

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283