Ed M., OSR visitor and avid lover of all things that photosynthesize, mentioned that his neighbor’s ficus hedge is getting defoliated by the Fig Whitefly and is trying to prevent his ficus hedge from suffering the same fate. The ficus defoliating Fig Whitefly (Singhiella simplex) first came to light in South Florida in 07 in the Miami Dade County area and has moved forward into Palm Beach County. Ed, here is a link about the Fig Whitefly to get more info.
I would suggest doing a precautionary drench and a foliar spray application using an insecticidal soap and oil. If your are going to use a pesticide – The label is the law and the law is the label. Always refer to the label.
Other plants that have been planted instead of the ficus in response to the defoliation problems include: Podocarpus, Areca Palms, Fish Tail Palms, Cat Palms, Arenga Palms, Coco Plum, and Japanese Blueberry.