Various – Silverleaf Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci)

Crop:          Various
Insect(s):  Silverleaf Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci)


  1. Monitor pest numbers and apply control measures before adult populations reach high levels.
  2. Select registered insecticide control measures according to the primary growth stage of the pest, the infestation level and the age and type of crop.
  3. In cotton, spray decisions should be based on the Silverleaf Whitefly threshold matrix. Refer to the current Cotton Pest Management Guide for further details
  4. Where possible, utilise selective insecticides during the early stages of crop development to minimise the impact on beneficial insects.
  5. Rotate between registered insecticides that have different modes of action (eg. Group 1, Group 3, Group 4, Group 7, Group 12, Group 23, 28 and Group 29. 
  6. DO NOT apply more than two consecutive applications of insecticides that have the same Mode of Action within and between seasons.
  7. The Modes of Action (groups) and registered insecticides for control of Silverleaf Whitefly are listed below.

    Group* Chemical sub-group Example chemical
    1B Organophosphate acephate
    3A Synthetic pyrethroids bifenthrin
    4A Neonicotinoids acetamiprid, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam
    4D Butenolides flupyradifurone
    7C Pyriproxyfen pyriproxyfen
    12A Diafenthiuron diafenthiuron
    16 Buprofezin buprofezin
    23 Spirotetramat spirotetramat
    Petroleum oil petroleum oil
    28 Diamides Cyantraniliprole
    29 Flonicamid flonicamid


    *Refer: CropLife Australia Expert Committee on Insecticide Resistance Mode of Action Classification for Insecticides

  8. Seek advice from the manufacturers and/or government advisory services to determine local resistance levels for particular mode of action Groups

  9. DO NOT exceed the maximum number of applications permitted on the insecticide label.

  10. When using insecticides to control other pests, consider the chemical group in relation to contributing to resistance development of Silverleaf Whitefly.

  11. When using insecticides to control other pests consider the effect on beneficial insects and the potential to flare Silverleaf Whitefly populations.


    Not all chemical groups listed have registered products available in all crops affected by Silverleaf Whitefly. Only use products registered for use in crop to be treated.

Cultural Practices:

    1. In vegetable crops, ensure seedlings are free of pests prior to transplanting. Inspect transplants carefully upon arrival for whitefly eggs, nymphs and adults.
    2. Control alternate weed hosts of Silverleaf Whitefly 2-3 weeks before planting to reduce early population levels.
    3. Clean-up crop residues
        a. Where moderate population levels remain after harvest, apply a registered insecticide or oil treatment effective against adults.
        b. Plough in crops within 2-3 days of application to kill all remaining nymphs on crop foliage to reduce pest migration into new plantings.

Notes regarding the application of insecticides:

  1. To ensure the most effective control of the pest:
  • Product labels should at all times be carefully read and adhered to;
  • Full recommended rates of registered insecticides should always be used; and
  • Ensure good coverage of the target area to maximise contact.

Content last updated: June 30, 2022

CropLife Australia’s Resistance Management Strategies provide a guide for crop protection product rotation through product groups. The strategies are a useful tool that supports farmers’ adoption of resistance management. All crop protection products must be handled and applied strictly as specified on the product label or APVMA permits.

These Resistance Management Strategies do not replace product labels. They are a guide only and do not endorse particular products, groups of products or cultural methods in terms of their performance. It is important to check with the Australian regulator’s (APVMA) product database for contemporary information on products and active constituents. The database can be sourced through

The information given in this strategy is provided in good faith and without any liability for loss or damage suffered as a result of its application and use. Advice given in this strategy is valid as at 30 June 2022. All previous versions of this strategy are now invalid.