Encarsia formosa

Encosia formosa parasitoid of whiteflies

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Identification card icon Identification

Encarsia formosa is a parasitic wasp that parasitizes whiteflies like greenhouse whiteflies (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) and whiteflies of the genus Bemisia.I was the first biological control agent developed for use in greenhouses. Adults are black with yellow abdomen, measure less than 1 mm long. This miniscule wasp lays its eggs in immature whiteflies (third and fourth larval stages), with females laying 50 to 350 eggs in their lifetime. Larval stages live entirely inside immature whiteflies, which darken and turn back as the parasite develop inside

Produced by the Canadian insectary Applied Bio-Nomics, Encarsia cards are nor refrigerated. Non-refrigerated wasps gives better parasitims rate and a better area dispersion (= more effective).

  • Market garden crops (tomato, cucumber, pepper, eggplant, etc.)
  • Ornemental plants (poinsettia, gerbera, etc.)
  • Indoor plants

  • Greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum)
  • Whitefly Bemisia sp.

  • Encarsia formosa has a life cycle of approximately 28 days at 21 °C.
  • The optimum conditions are a temperature above 20 ° C and a relative humidity of 50-70%.
  • The females lay eggs in 2-week-old whiteflies (third and fourth larval stages).
  • Females lay an average of 10 eggs per day for a total of 200-350 eggs in their lifetime.
  • At the adult stage, Encarsia formosa can live from a few days to a month, depending on the temperature.
  • Parasitized whitefly pupae blacken after 10-14 days. The new adult emerges after 2 weeks.


Card with encarsia formosa

A water resistant paper cards that contains glued pupae ofEncarsia formosa.

General instructions

  • Encarsia pupae are sold glued onto cards and adult will emerge over a period of 1-2 weeks at 20-25 °C.
  • Generally, emergence is fast (2-5 days).
  • Small emergences holes in the pupae are visible using a 5-10 X lens and indicate that the parasite has emerged.
  • For application, hang the Encarsia card from lower leaves in the shade as Encarsia tend to fly upward; avoir wetting them while watering.
  • Do not attemp to use Encarsia if high whitefly populations are already established.

Application rate

Encarsia formosa
Introduction Quantity Surface Frequency Duration
Preventive 1 per m2 weekly or bi-weekly 5 introductions in total
Curative light 5 per m2 weekly when over 80% of the
whiteflies have been parasitized
Hot spot 10 per m2 weekly when over 80% of the
whiteflies have been parasitized
Maintenance 1 per m2 weekly as needed


  • Sponges can not be subdivided, however well mixed solution can be portioned.
  • Once a sponge is mixed with water into a suspension, use the entire suspension immediately.
  • Use cool/tepid water for mixing and keep tank out of direct sunlight.
  • Remove filters that are finer than 100 mesh from application equipment and nozzles.
  • Do not use in application systems where nozzle aperture is smaller than 0.149 mm (149 microns).
  • Do not exceed 300 PSI pump pressure.
  • Provide gentle agitation or aeration to the nematode solution during application.
  • Do not store extra product once mixed with water.

  • Upon receipt of product, remove from shipping packaging and use immediately or store in a refrigerated area 5 °C (40 °F) Do not freeze.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Do not use if incorrectly stored.
  • Store for a maximum of 6 weeks.
  • Always check viability before making the root application (see section Before starting)

  • Fiche signalitique
    Encarsia formosa technical sheet

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Biological control products and beneficial insects for farmers and greenhouse growers