Whitefly Parasites (Encarsia formosa) are the most cost effective biological control agent to control greenhouse whiteflies. An aggressive, non-stinging parasitic wasp, it is attracted to its host by the actual smell of the honeydew produced by the pest, detecting this from several feet distance. Adult parasites will feed on this honeydew but also on pest body fluids through a hole made in the whitefly larvae.
Egg laying for this tiny beneficial insect can take place in all four whitefly larval instars and the pupae, but E. formosa prefer the 3rd and 4th instars. The female Whitefly Parasite lays an average of 50 – 100 eggs. Most parasitization will occur at humidities of 50% – 80% and a high light intensity. A major factor affecting efficiency is temperature. At temperatures below 62˚F the parasitic wasp will not fly and consequently will not seek out new hosts.
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DIRECTIONS FOR USE:
Depending on the amount of infestation, the following general release rates have been established: 2-4 parasites per square foot of infested area or 1-2 per plant after the presence of whitefly is noticed. A second release, 1-2 weeks later, may be necessary.
E. formosa are shipped similar to trichogramma; that is, as mature pupae in host eggs, glued to a paper card and almost ready to hatch out as adult parasitic wasps. If there is a high density of whiteflies consider using a non-residual insecticide or insecticidal soap first. Release parasites about 2-3 weeks later. The use of yellow sticky traps along with the parasites can be a helpful tool to control whitefly adults.
Planet Natural guarantees live, timely delivery of our beneficial insects. However, to ensure live delivery, it is important that you receive your order when it arrives. Once your order has shipped, a Fed Ex tracking number will be sent to you via email announcing when your package will be delivered. We will NOT be responsible for “live shipments” left unattended at your doorstep. Please make contingent arrangements to have them picked up by a neighbor or delivered to a work address if you will not be home during the day.