Silverleaf Whitefly (SLW) (Bemisia tabaci biotype B) is a major worldwide pest of cotton, vegetables and soybeans. It arrived in Australia in 1994 and is now causing severe problems in Queensland, northern New South Wales and parts of Western Australia.
SLW has a similar life cycle to that of the common greenhouse whitefly but favours warmer and drier environments, has the capacity to breed more quickly on a wider range of hosts and can develop resistance to insecticides rapidly.
In warmer, more humid areas of Australia, SLW survives on native vegetation and roadside weeds, while in cooler areas it is more likely to be restricted to greenhouses. Due to its ability to develop resistance to insecticides quickly, chemical control of SLW can no longer be taken for granted. Pest management overseas and experience from Australia has shown that effective management of SLW depends on the use of multiple management strategies.