Encarsia formosa - Whitefly Control



Most species of Whitefly pests.


Encarsia formosa is a tiny parasitic wasp known for its effective control of whitefly populations. Encarsia formosa measures <1 millimeter in length and has a distinctive appearance, with a black head and thorax, and a bright yellow abdomen. As an adult, females actively seek out whiteflies, specifically targeting the immature stages such as eggs and pupae. The female wasp deposits her eggs inside the whitefly's body where it develops into larvae and feeds on the whitefly, turning the whitefly black or brown in color.


Hang on lower leaves out of
direct sunlight. Avoid getting wet.
Release indoors or outdoors. It is best to release Encarsia formosa in temperatures over 68°F and relative humidity of 50-70%. When daytime highs are regularly below 64°F Encarsia activity decreases making them less effective.

LIGHT INFESTATION: 2-5 wasps per sq. ft.
HEAVY INFESTATION: 10+ wasps per sq.ft.

It's important to note that these release rates serve as general guidelines and may vary based on the specific pest species, the crop or plant being treated, and level of infestation. Proper monitoring of the infestation and the subsequent effectiveness of the released beneficial insect population is crucial for determining the success of the biological control strategy.


For best results, release immediately. If storage is necessary, store at 40°-50°F for no longer than 14 days.


To achieve a comprehensive approach in controlling Whiteflies, it is recommended to combine the use of Encarsia formosa with other beneficial predators such as Delphastus catalinae and Eretmocerus eremicus.


The life cycle of Encarsia formosa lasts approximately 28 days at a temperature of around 70°F. Typically, Encarsia formosa consists mostly of females, and each female can lay up to 10 eggs per day. The eggs are deposited individually, with one egg per whitefly host. After being laid, the eggs develop inside the whitefly scale for about 10 days. Following this stage, they enter the pupal stage, which lasts for another 10 days. Finally, the adult Encarsia formosa wasps emerge from the pupae. These adult wasps have a lifespan of up to 30 days.

It's important to note that these time-frames are approximate and can be influenced by factors such as temperature, humidity, and the availability of prey. Monitoring the development and activity of beneficial insect populations, along with environmental conditions, can help determine the progress and effectiveness of their role in pest control efforts.