Whitefly Pest Solution: Encarsia

Encarsia Description

Encarsia (Pronounced: EN-CAR-SEE-A)is a tiny black and yellow parasitic wasp about 1mm in length. Adult females lay their eggs into whitefly scales (the static, sap-sucking whitefly larvae).

Encarsia Life Cycle

An adult female will lay up to 60 eggs during her short lifetime of 10 to 14 days. Whitefly scales that have been parasitised by Encarsia turn black after about 10 days. Development from egg to adult takes about 28 days at 20°C or 14 days at 30°C.

Encarsia Usage

  • They should only be used in greenhouses or conservatories.
  • Encarsia should be introduced at the first sign of whitefly, yellow sticky traps can be used to monitor when this is.
  • If temperatures are not high enough, use SB Plant Invigorator to keep the numbers down before Encarsia can be introduced.
  • If the whitefly population is already high, it is necessary to spray first with SB Plant Invigorator to reduce the numbers.  It may also be necessary to repeat SB Plant Invigorator sprays after they are introduced, to help establish control at low whitefly levels.  In this case, apply SB Plant Invigorator only to leaves that are densely infested with scales or adults.  Generally, scales will be found on slightly older leaves and adults on young leaves towards the growing point of shoots. Spray undersides of leaves, where most of the whitefly are located.
  • They cannot be stored, and should be used on the day of receipt.
  • Temperatures should not fall below 10°C (50°F) at night, Encarsia will be most effective when temperatures are at least 18°C (64°F) during the day.
  • They may not work well on daturas or regal pelargoniums.
  • Encarsia are harmless to children, pets and wildlife and will not become a pest in its own right.

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