Although they look like miniature white moths, whiteflies are neither moths nor flies. Instead, they are insects of varying species in the order of Homoptera, which also includes aphids, scales and mealybugs. Whiteflies seemingly “show up out of nowhere,” often when greenhouse plants and nursery stock are planted. Whiteflies have yellow or orange bodies with a waxy coating that makes them appear white.
The male fringe-winged winter moth is often seen in homes and around lights and holiday decorations in December and January. This invasive pest arrived in the U.S. and Canada from Europe. In Canada, it is well known in Nova Scotia, Vancouver, British Columbia and other locations. In the U.S., it is found predominately in coastal Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington and Oregon.