Sweet potato whitefly description

Sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci, order Hemiptera and family Aleyrodidae) is a sap feeder. The adults are about 4-5mm long with a pale yellow body. The sweet potato whitefly can easily be identified by their red compound eyes.  When feeding their wings are slightly apart creating a shallow “V” shape. The sweet potato whitefly are found at higher concentrations on the upper part of the plant where the leaves are softer and easier to feed on.  Always look on the underside of the leaf for the characteristic white to brown eggs. As soon as the eggs turn brown, they are ready to hatch.  The easiest way to find whiteflies is to brush or shake the leaves and look for the whitefly adults which fly off. Inspect the undersides of the leaves for the flies. These pets are important vectors of diseases which are often more devastating than the injury caused by their feeding. One important diseases is the leaf curl virus.

Sweet potato whitefly is also called the Silverleaf whitefly.

Damage caused by Sweet potato whitefly

Cause a ripening disorder, similar to blotchy ripening. Vector of several important virus diseases such as tomato yellow leaf curl virus.


  • Monitor: yellow sticky traps


  • Encarsia
  • Chemical