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Encarsia Formosa

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Adult whiteflies are small, white, ‘powderey’ insects (about 1 mm).  They feed on plant sap, which stunts the growth of the plant.  They also transmit several viruses that can cause plant disease.  Larvae and adults secrete a sticky substance (honeydew).  It makes the leaves (and fruits) dirty and sticky and causes fungal growth.

The parasitic wasp Encarsia measures about 0.6 to 0.7mm and lays eggs into the whitefly larvae.  After 10 days the whitefly parasitized pupae die and turn black.  After another 10 to 14 days, new parasitic wasps leave the black pupae to infect further pupae. 

One packet can treat on average a surface area of approx 50 m

Please note: Orders for insects are placed with the supplier on a Friday morning at 8am for delivery the following week. Insects arrive with the customer on a Thursday or Friday. We do not hold stock

The parasitic wasps are delivered as pupae (black) that are stuck on cards.  Each card contains at least 100 pupae.  The cards are packed per 5.

 When they arrive the wasps have to introduced as soon as possible.  The cards can be torn loose carefully.  See that your fingers do not touch the pupae while loosening and hanging the cards in the crop (to prevent damage).  The small hole on top of the card enables you to hang them up easily in the plants.  Hang the cards 50cm below the top of the plants, spreading them equally over the area to be treated. 

If you are using yellow sticky traps, to minimise the risk of catching Encarsia, ensure that they are hung above the crop.


Encarsia is only active at 16oC or above.  It survives at lower temperatures but is not active.  The parasitic wasp will die if the temperature drops below 6oC.  Parasitic wasps are not harmful to humans, animals or plants.  The parasitic wasp can not survive without the presence of whitefly.