Remember in my last post I was puzzling over a strange “thing” I had found under the leaves of the Lilly Pilly tree. So I brought it inside and put it in a jar with a secure lid. I kept looking at it but nothing had changed before I went to bed.
This morning the first thing I did was look in the jar. And I could see something that looked like a pair of eyes staring back at me. (pleased excuse the quality of these photos)Can you see it? I spent ages trying to get a clearer photo, but all the stringy bits kept getting in the way. Then I noticed a second “egg” hatching. How exciting. When I took another photo I noticed the first one had morphed into a small moth like thing.
Here is a close up I managed to get. So did a Google search and I believe they are Whitefly. What I thought were eggs are probably the larvae.
They are not good to have in the garden as they are sap suckers.
The adults are small white moth-like flies, 1 mm in length. Eggs are laid on the undersides of leaves and hatch in 8 days. Both newly hatched ‘crawlers’ and adults feed by sucking the sap from the underside of the leaf. They also excrete ‘honeydew’ which causes problems with black sooty mould. After 4 nymph stages they form a black pupa, visible as a small speck under the leaves. Most species can complete a full life cycle in 20-30 days, less in summer. Each adult female may lay 200 eggs. Egg laying increases in warm weather. Whiteflies have no hibernation period and must have a suitable host all year. Severe winters reduce numbers considerably. (greenharvest.com.au)
This website also gives good advice about getting rid of them. So I now have another daily job and will be carefully checking for more of these “Things”