Tobacco whitefly (Bemisia tabaci)
Adults and nymphs of the tobacco whitefly suck sap from leaves of okra plants. Attacked plants have low vigour and may wilt, turn yellow and die if whitefly infestations are severe or of long duration. Damage may be accentuated when plants suffer water stress. Whiteflies excrete honeydew on which supports sooty mould growth. This mould may cover the leaves during heavy infestation, and as a result the leaves may turn black, affecting photosynthesis.
- Conserve natural enemies. Parasitic wasps, and predators (predatory mites, lacewings and ladybird beetles) are important in natural control of whiteflies.
- If necessary, spray neem extracts. Neem products inhibit growth and development of immature stages, repel whitefly adults and reduce egg laying. Other substances reported to be effective against whiteflies are soap and water solutions and mineral oils. The amount of soap needed depends on the soap type.