(May 8) Visitors to the Spring Field Day at the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee last week observed tiny, voracious whiteflies enjoying a field day of their own.
The pests are especially numerous this year and have been munching on things like tomatoes and watermelons and infecting them with disease, according to the Naples Daily News.
The result is rotting, stunted plants.
Lack of rain, overlapping seasonal crops and resistance to pesticides are theories that entomologists offered for the onslaught. They’re looking at using predator mites and controlled-release fertilizers to combat the problem, the News reported.