People, Environment

Tehran’s Whiteflies Again Out of Control

Tehran’s Whiteflies Again Out of Control Tehran’s Whiteflies Again Out of Control

Tehran’s whitefly population has got out of control once again, causing serious exasperation to residents.

Whiteflies have been a summertime nuisance for the past few years, Jamejam Online reported.

Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the former Tehran mayor, is widely blamed for the failure to implement effective measures during his tenure to control these insects.  

The most noticeable move to address the problem so far has been the use of yellow sticky plastics on the barks of trees, which has apparently borne no fruit.

Spraying urban trees and bushes with pesticides in all seasons is reportedly the most effective way of curbing the problem.

However, Farideh Olad-Qobad, Tehran’s representative in the parliament, believes that the method has not been implemented at all this year or has been done haphazardly.

“All the measures taken by the municipality to tackle this problem have failed so far,” she said.

She proposed the immediate formation of a committee comprising members from the Majlis environment faction, the Environmental Commission of Tehran City Council, the Agriculture Ministry and the Department of Environment to address the issue.

Although whiteflies do not pose any health risks to humans, they cause annoyance. Besides, severe infestations cause plants to yellow and lose their leaves prematurely. Whiteflies also produce large amounts of sticky, sugary honeydew, which in turn is colonized by black sooty mold, reducing the attractiveness and marketability of whitefly-infested crops.

Whitefly control is difficult and complex, as whiteflies rapidly develop resistance to chemical pesticides. The most efficient approach, as studies indicate, is an integrated eco-friendly strategy focusing on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation and modification of cultural practices.


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