Spiralling whitefly is a major pest that has cost many millions of dollars in lost yield in agricultural crops across the tropics.
Introducing natural predators of spiralling whitefly such as
- minute parasitic wasps
- insect predators eg. ladybird beetles
has been quite effective.
The biological control of spiralling whiteflies in new areas typically involves
- a period of rampant population growth of the pest
- ensuing agricultural loss
- reducing populations as natural controls take effect
The spread of the spiralling whitefly is an example of the failure our quarantine procedures.
Spiralling whitefly has conquered half the world despite
- thorough examination of legitimate consignments of living plant material (fruit, vegetables, cut flowers and ornamental plants),
- strict procedures for dealing with airline and ferry passengers who illegally carry plant material in their luggage
- the spiralling whitefly being much easier to see than many other plant pests
Spiralling whitefly is running rings round Homo sapiens.