Whitefly Biological Control - Encarsia Formosa 1000 pack

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Whitefly Biological Control - Encarsia Formosa 1000 pack

Product Description

Encarsia Formosa are tiny little wasps which lay their eggs in the body of Whitefly larvae (or scales). Pretty gruesome stuff but very environmentally sustainable and completely natural! (They may be wasps, but they do not sting humans - don't worry!)

Each of these wasps moves through the infected crops searching for Whitefly larvae. When a larva is found, the wasp carefully examines it. If it is correct, the wasp inserts an egg into it. When the Encarsia egg hatches, it consumes the whitefly from within. At this point the whitefly scale turns black, and about eight days later a new Encarsia emerges to repeat the process.
The wasp will kill more Whitefly than it parasitises. They prefer to lay eggs in larger Whitefly larvae. If the host larvae the wasp encounters is too small it will attack the scale and eat it.

This biological control method can be used on any plant with a Whitefly problem
The parasitic wasp is only active at 16°C or above. It survives at lower temperatures but is not active. The parasitic wasp will die if the temperature drops below 6°C.

How Do I know if I have a Whitefly infestation?
Whiteflies, both adults and eggs, are found on the underside of leaves. Adults are small grey to white winged flies, measuring 1.25 –2mm, and usually live for a month. Each female adult will lay up to 200 eggs on the underside of leaves, often in neat circles. These eggs are initially white but darken to an almost black colour before hatching into a nymph, which will crawl around the leaf surface before settling to feed. The legs of the nymph then degenerate and the nymph becomes an immobile scale, feeding for 2 weeks before pupating. Adults emerge 10 days later and begin feeding immediately.

The presence of the various species of whitefly is indicated by large amounts of sticky honeydew and sooty moulds on the upper surfaces of leaves, and by a yellow mottling where the whitefly have fed. Whitefly can transmit several strains of plant viruses and infested plants suffer from a lack of vigour.
Of the greenhouse crops, tomatoes and cucumbers are usually most severely infested, although this pest will attack many other common glasshouse and houseplants. Also at risk are cabbages, brussel sprouts and other brassicas, rhododendrons and azaleas.

Encarsia are supplied as pupae in black parasitised scales on a leaf.

The Encarsia life-cycle is roughly a month long, from egg to adult, so we would recommend introducing a second batch 2 weeks after the first to ensure that adult wasps are continuously working on the scales.

NOTE: the pest MUST be present before introducing this predator for control to be effective - please do not order beforehand.

Size: 1000 wasp pack (there will always be more than 1000 in the pack)

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