Ficus Whitefly: Treatment Options

Ficus Whitefly Management Strategies

Commonly known as ficus whitefly, fig whiteflies have already defoliated thousands of ficus hedges in Florida and ruined the appearance and privacy of countless residential landscapes. Whiteflies increase their populations rapidly during the spring and summer months, so the risk of widespread infestation and rapid defoliation is heightened during that time. University research has demonstrated that Safari® Insecticide can protect ficus from whiteflies.

Due to its unique chemical properties (high solubility and low binding to organic matter), high amounts of Safari are rapidly absorbed by ficus and then transported in the vascular system to where whiteflies feed. This results in faster control of whiteflies than with less systemic products and also extends the application window later in the season.

Whitefly infestation does not have to be a death sentence for ficus trees and shrubs. Systemic insecticides are effective at protecting them and can also be used to save ficus trees and hedges already showing early signs of infestation.

University Research Demonstrates Safari's Effective Control
In a University of Florida study on ficus trees, by 14 days after a soil application, Safari reduced ficus whitefly infestation by an average of 64% compared to untreated trees, and 35% compared to ficus treated with another soil-applied product. At 8 weeks after treatment, Safari gave 99% control of ficus whitefly, and tree quality was visibly improved. Excellent control was still evident at 8 months after application. Note: University experts recommend soil application as the most effective treatment for ficus whiteflies.

  • Ficus hedge defoliated by ficus whitefly

    Ficus hedge defoliated by ficus whitefly

  • Hedge treated with Safari

    Hedge treated with Safari

  1. Tree/shrub removal

    • Will not stop ficus whitefly spread
  2. Insecticide treatment

    • High rate of success
    • Preventive or early curative application is key to success
  3. Combination of 1 and 2

    • Treat signature/high-profile trees/shrubs
    • Remove stressed or less desirable trees/shrubs
Product Choice Considerations
  • Efficacy is NOT the only consideration
  • Also consider:
    • Speed of application (labor)
    • Ease of application (applicator training)
    • Flexibility of application (use methods)
    • Customer budget (cost)
    • Level of tree/shrub injury (preventive vs. curative)
    • Time of application (season)
Protect Your Ficus with Safari Insecticide

Only Safari offers the speed of control that is essential to prevent complete defoliation and, ultimately, branch and hedge dieback. Safari delivers:

  • Faster control of ficus whitefly than other soil-applied products, even on large trees
  • Rapid control = faster ficus recovery from whitefly infestation
  • Prevention of whitefly reinfestation for many months
  • Control of other ficus pests such as ficus thrips and fig wax scale

Find a Tree Care Specialist to Treat Your Trees

Safari Insecticide is also available for homeowners who prefer a do-it-yourself approach to tree and shrub care. Tree & Shrub Insect Control with Safari 2 G Insecticide is available at local lawn and garden stores across the country. Visit to purchase Tree & Shrub online or locate the retailer nearest you.