Whiteflies are such a pest because they hack the way plants communicate

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When some plants are attacked by herbivores they fight back by producing irritants and toxins as their leaves get chewed up. Certain insects, however, can resist these defences. Among the best at doing this, and hence one of the most troublesome crop pests, is the whitefly. Remarkably, as new research shows, whiteflies enhance their dastardly deeds by hacking a biological early-warning communications system used by plants.

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