Tobacco whitefly

Major issue in sub-tropical regions, Europe and N. America, Bemisia tabaci is a virus vector. Resistant to conventional insecticides, it poses particular threat in artificially lit crops.

Show all related crops & products


  • Oval-shaped yellow eggs (0.18mm) – turn light brown after 2 to 3 days
  • First larval stage (0.25mm) is mobile – later larval/pupal stages are immobile
  • Irregular shaped, flat pupae (0.8mm) are yellowish transparent and, unlike greenhouse whitefly, have no waxy hairs
  • Adults found on entire plant at bottom of leaves – where eggs are laid
  • Yellowish adults (1mm) have vertically positioned wings along body
  • Adults emerge pushing their way out of the pupal case, resulting in a T-shaped hole

Life cycle

  • Female adults start laying eggs 1-3 days after hatching
  • Fertility depends on temperature and host plant – can lay up to 130 eggs on tomato and cucumber
  • Six development stages – egg, 4 larval stages and adult
  • Development from egg to adult takes 22 days at 26 °C/79 °F, but up to 70 days at 16 °C/61 °F
  • Optimal conditions are 30 °C/86 °F – whitefly develops in just 18 days
  • At higher temperatures adults can live 2 weeks – but up to 2 months in cooler conditions

Damage caused

  • Larvae and adults suck plant sap
  • Secretes honeydew – fouling leaves and fruit
  • Sooty mould often grows on the honeydew – reducing photosynthesis
  • Virus vector – Tobacco whitefly can spread destructive plant viruses such as TYLCV and CYDV
  • Viruses cause physiological disorders, such as tomato irregular ripening (TIR)


Fast and accurate scouting, personalised IPM advice.

The Crop-Scanner App is ready to increase your scouting efficiency! The Crop-Scanner App is available in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Morocco, the UK, Canada and the USA. Other countries will follow soon.

Get in touch

Contact Biobest