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Rugose Spiraling Whitefly

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a.k.a. Gumbo Limbo Spiraling Whitefly

The Rugose Spiraling Whitefly is found in South Florida, but thus far it is not causing severe plant damage, such as plant death or severe branch die‐back.

What to Look For

White spirals and a build up of a white, waxy substanceon the underside of leaves. This coats the eggs and immature whiteflies. If populations build‐up greatly, infested plants can become covered with the white, waxy substance. This can sometimes become weakened and also be disfigured by the black sooty mold that grows on the insect’s excrement (referred to as honeydew). The sticky honeydew can accumulate on cars, pool decks and patio furniture from infested trees overhead. Honeydew does not damage paint. Once the insect is under control, the sooty mold and honeydew will disappear.

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly and Swimming Pools

If you have Rugose Spiraling Whitefly infested trees near your swimming pool, you may experience your pool water turning green.  This may be a result of thehoneydew – a clear, sticky secretion from the whiteflies – falling into your pool water.  It is recommended that you seek help from a pool care professional to establish pool chemistry levels or you could take a water sample to a local pool supply store for analysis.

Steps to resolve the issue may include super chlorinationbackwash (cleaning) of the pool filters.  However, an algaecide or shock treatment using products containing sodium bromide or potassium mononpersulfate to oxidize the organic matter in the water may be needed.  Always follow the label recommendations of any chemicals you use, use them responsibly and dispose of them safely.

Treated Areas

The City is has treated infected trees at the following locations:

  • Natural Area on Riverwalk - 400 SW 2nd Street
  • Historical Area on Riverwalk - 220 N. New River Drive
  • Main Office at Snyder Park - 3299 SW 4th Avenue
  • SE 1st Avenue from Davie Blvd to SE 15th Street
  • Ponce de Leon Drive - Federal Hwy to SE 9th Avenue
  • Virginia Young Park - 1000 SE 9th Avenue
  • East Las Olas Blvd - SE 6th Avenue to SE 11th Avenue
  • Ponce de Leon Dr - From SE 9 AV to end (all gumbo limbo and Calophyllum trees)
  • City Hall (west side) - 100 North Andrews Avenue
  • Purple Pickle Park - 632 Middle River Drive
  • George English Park - 1101 Bayview Drive (Calophyllum trees at entrance)
  • 15th Street Boat Basin - 1784 SE 15th Street
  • SW 17 Street from Railroad tracks to SW 4th Avenue
  • Triangle at West Park Drive and SW 19th Street near Crossiant Elementary
  • City parking lot west of City Hall
  • SR 84 median from SW 4th Avenue to SW 9th Avenue
  • SR 84 median from SW 9th Avenue to SW 15th Avenue
  • Oceanside Parking Lot - East Las Olas and South Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd
  • South Birch Road and Cortez Street traffic triangles
  • Hardy Park - 25 SW 9th Street
  • Evergreen Cemetery - 1300 SE 10th Avenue
  • Annie Beck Park - 100 N Victoria Park Road
  • Victoria Park - 2 N Victoria Park Road
  • Colee Hammock Park - 1500 Brickell Drive
  • Riverwalk Linear Park - 20 N New River Drive
  • Francis L. Abreau Place - 899 N Rio Vista Blvd
  • Hector Park - 1001 SE 11th Street
  • Idlewyld and Merle Fogg Parks - 2600 E Las Olas Blvd
  • Harbordale Park - 1817 S. Miami Road
  • Stranahan Park - 10 E Broward Blvd
  • Welcome Park - 2402 S Federal Hwy
  • City Parking lot on NW corner of NE 26th Street and Federal Hwy
  • East Oakland Blvd from Federal Hwy to Intracoastal Bridge
  • Greenfield Park - 2401 NE 8th Street
  • Bayview Park - 4401 Bayview Drive
  • Poinciana Park - 401 SE 21st St
  • Medians in Poinciana Park and Broward General Hospital area
  • Holiday Park including ArtServe - 1150 G. Harold Martin Dr
  • Carter Park - 1450 W Sunrise Blvd
  • Parking Services - 290 NE 3rd Avenue
  • Ann Herman Park - 1760 SW 29th Avenue
  • Benneson Park - 1330 SW 33rd Terrace
  • Bill Keith Preserve - 1720 SW 17th Street
  • Bryant Peney Park - 2100 SW 4th Avenue
  • Coontie Hatchee Landings - 1116 SW 15th Avenue
  • Dr. Elizabeth Hays Civic Park - 3781 SW Riverland Road
  • Esterre Davis Wright Park - 1626 SW 23rd Street
  • Flamingo Park - 1600 SW 21st Way
  • Floyd Hull Stadium - 800 SW 28th Street
  • Gore Park - 1611 SW 9th Avenue
  • Guthrie-Blake Park - 2801 SW 2nd Street
  • Hortt Park - 1700 SW 14th Court
  • Morton Activity Center - 2890 SW 8th Avenue
  • Riverland Park - 950 SW 27th Avenue
  • Riverland Woods Park - 3950 Riverland Road
  • Shirley Small Community Park - SW 34th Avenue (one block north of Davie Blvd)
  • Sunset School Park - 3775 SW 16th Street
  • Westwood Heights Triangle Park - 801 SW 28th Avenue
  • Bass Park - 2750 NW 19th St
  • Palm Aire Village Park - 6401 NW 21st Ave
  • Palm Aire Village Park - 3352 NW 63rd St
  • Northfork Riverfront Park - 200 NW 18th Ave
  • Sweeting Park - 433 NW 23rd Ave
  • Provident Park - 1412 NW 6th St
  • Sistrunk Park - 200 NW 6th St
  • Oakland Park Blvd Medians from Federal Highway east to Intracoastal Bridge
  • Commercial Blvd Medians from Federal Highway east to Intracoastal Bridge
  • Beach Community Center - 3351 NE 33rd Terrace
  • Dolphin Isle Park - 2125 NE 33rd Avenue
  • Vista Park and Median - 2851 N Atlantic Blvd
  • Egg N You Parking Lot - North Federal and NE 26th Street (Retreated 6/19/12) 

Urban Forester Available to Speak to Neighborhoods About Whiteflies

Populations of the Rugose Spiraling Whitefly have been identified throughout Fort Lauderdale. In an effort to educate and inform residents about the Rugose Spiraling Whitefly, Mark Williams, the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Urban Forester, is available to homeowners associations, civic groups, neighborhoods and other organizations interested in learning more about the insect.

Among the topics that Williams can cover include: what is the Rugose Spiraling Whitefly; what should residents look for; what damage do they cause; what plants do they infest; how can they best be treated; and other relevant information. To arrange an appointment, please contact Mr. Williams at:

Mark Williams, City Forester
Office of Sustainability
Department of Public Works
101 NE 3rd Avenue, Suite 1400
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Tel. 954-828-5785

More Information

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