Those little white bugs? Ash whitefly numbers growing in Oregon - KPTV - FOX 12

Those little white bugs? Ash whitefly numbers growing in Oregon

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Viewer photo of ash whitefly from Cindy Vandervest Viewer photo of ash whitefly from Cindy Vandervest
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

If you've noticed swarms of tiny white bugs bouncing around your yard, you're not alone.

FOX 12 viewers have reported seeing the small flying insects in Portland, Beaverton, Wilsonville and Newberg.

Most said they have never seen them before.

According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the bugs are known as ash whitefly, or Siphoninus phillyreae.

 A department spokesman said the bugs were around last year, as well, but the numbers in Oregon are growing.

They've been a pest in California in the past, the spokesman said, but while they could cause harm to fruit trees, there have been no reports of damage caused by the ash whitefly in the metro area to this point.

An Oregon State University report states little is known about how impactful the ash whitefly will be in Oregon. Currently, there is no specific management plan for Oregon nursery production regarding the bugs.

Adult females typically live for 30-60 days and lay eggs on the undersides of leaves. The OSU report states they can reproduce continuously during the year, but development slows in cooler temperatures.

According to OSU, ash whitefly was first detected in California in 1988 and has since been spotted in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and South Carolina.

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