Rhododendron Whitefly – Dialeurodes chittendeni

Rhododendron Whitefly Dialeurodes chittendeni

Common Name: Dialeurodes chittendeni

Latin Name: Dialeurodes chittendeni


  • Adults are tiny (1/16 inch length) moth-like insects with short antennae and powder-white wings.
  • They are easily identified and frequently seen at the ends of stems or close to plant tops.
  • Nymphs without wings have an oval, somewhat scale-like shape.
  • They settle down, attach themselves to the underside of leaves, and start eating after the first instar or crawler stage.

Host plant:     

More than 250 decorative and vegetable species are host plants. Citrus, squash, poinsettia, potato, cucumber, grape, tomato, and hibiscus are frequently affected.


Whiteflies can be seen in outdoor gardens throughout the southern and coastal regions. In the north, year-round infestations are only conceivable inside.

Damages caused by Rhododendron Whitefly:

The primary cause of damage is sucking plant fluids, which deprives the plant of nutrients and water, causing yellowing of the foliage and premature leaf drop.

Life history and habits:

Young nymphs spend the winter on host plant leaves. Adult females lay 200-400 eggs in circular clusters on the undersides of top leaves in late April. The eggs hatch in 6-10 days, and the crawlers, which resemble miniature mealybugs, migrate a short distance from the egg before flattening themselves against the leaf to eat. The remaining nymphal phases (2nd, 3rd, and 4th) remain motionless. A non-feeding pupal stage follows, and young adults emerge within a week to continue the cycle. Every year, there are several generations. Whiteflies grow from egg to adult in around 25 days at standard temperature. Adults might expect to live for one to two months. Every year, there is one generation.