Tehran, Iran is experiencing a whitefly epidemic. Clouds of whiteflies fill the air, landing everywhere and are easily swallowed by residents. I am reminded of our 2009 soybean aphid clouds in Indiana. The whiteflies are feeding on mulberry trees which are planted throughout the urban landscape. The warmer temperatures associated with climate change have allowed whitefly populations to experience a longer season and reach outbreak proportions. Predators and parasitoids that would typically keep whitefly populations in check are overwhelmed.
Whiteflies are attracted to yellow and yellow cards coated with glue can trap whiteflies and reduce their population in greenhouses. Tehran has responded to the whiteflies by wrapping trees in miles of yellow sticky tape in hopes of reducing the population by mass trapping. Cold temperatures of winter may provide a remedy. With climate change, those colder temperatures may take longer to arrive.