The glasshouse whitefly is a very common pest that attacks many glasshouse crops. With the parasitic wasp Encarsia formosa, the glasshouse grower has at his disposal a practical and economical beneficial insect to control whitefly populations.
Encarsia formosa is used on a wide range of glasshouse edible and ornamental crops to control glasshouse whitefly. The aim of Encarsia introductions is to obtain a balance between the pest and Encarsia as early as possible. From the first siting of glasshouse whitefly adults on yellow sticky traps or in the crop, Encarsia is introduced curatively every week until a sufficient parasitisation level is reached. If at least 80% of the whitefly pupae are coloured black, a good parasitisation has been reached.
Practical experience has shown that it is also useful to introduce Encarsia preventatively at low rates. To obtain a good balance, the following factors should be taken into account:
- At a temperature below 18°C (64.4°F), Encarsia does not fly and its searching ability is seriously limited. At temperatures above 30°C (86°F), the adult life span is considerably reduced. In high temperatures, Eretmocerus or Eretmix, is recommended.
- Agri50-E whitefly killer has a physical mode of action and can be safely used in conjunction with Encarsia to reduce large populations of whitefly.
- Certain pesticides (e.g. pyrethroids) can have a long-term negative effect onEncarsia.
- If Encarsia is introduced too late, large amounts of honeydew on leaves can hamper its mobility and consequently reduce whitefly parasitisation.
- By deleafing too early, parasitized pupae that have not yet emerged will be removed from the glasshouse.
- Regular dusting of pesticides is harmful to Encarsia.
In some ornamental crops, in which tolerance of pests is almost zero, high introduction rates are recommended (overkill approach). Control will be based almost exclusively on host-feeding.
The Encarsia cards have to be distributed equally throughout the glasshouse. Separate the cards along the dotted line of the sheet. Do not touch the pupae with the fingers when loosening and hanging up the cards (to prevent damage). Hang the cards on the plant, at approximately 60-90 cm from the head of the plant.
Main Pest – Glasshouse Whitefly. Use in greenhouses or conservatories. Available from – April to August.
BC06 500 pack (treats up to 50sqm) £9.99
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