There is a new pest in South Florida known as Rugose (formerly known as Gumbo Limbo) Spiraling
Whitefly. This insect is closely related to the Ficus Whitefly that causes
extensive damage on ficus hedges all throughout South Florida. Unlike the Ficus
Whitefly, the Rugose Spiraling Whitefly is very commonly found on many
palms, especially coconut palms and Christmas palms.
The most noticeable symptoms of an infestation of this whitefly is the
abundance of the white, waxy material covering the leaves and also excessive
sooty mold. Like other similar insects, these whiteflies will produce
“honeydew”, a sugary substance, which causes the growth of sooty mold. The
actual effect of an infestation on the health of a plant is unknown; however,
whiteflies in general can cause plant decline, defoliation and branch dieback.
Although this pest is not likely to kill your palms, the honeydew dropped by
the whiteflies is a severe nuisance, especially over pool decks, docks and
This is a fact sheet courtesy of the University of Florida Dade county
Gumbo Limbo Spiraling Whitefly.pdf
Palm Tree Doctor has developed a very effective treatment to
control Spiraling Whitefly. Please call the office for more information or to
schedule an appointment.