Whitefly is a major pest that can destroy plants in greenhouses and conservatories. Control Whitefly by introducing Encarsia on small white cards, which are hung on the plants AS SOON as the first whitefly appear and the temperatures are above 10C / 50F.
N.B. Encarsia is available NOW for use in heated greenhouses and consevatories.
Adult whitefly - These small, white, waxy-winged insects congregate at the top of the plant, but fly off if disturbed. Both the adults and larval stages of the whitefly suck sap from the leaves resulting in stunted growth and damaged leaves. The sap contains excess sugar which is excreted by the whitefly and coats the lower leaves. Mould then develops, which is unsightly and produces poor growth. A Whitefly infestation can be brought into your greenhouse / conservatories by bringing in infected plants, so carefully inspect any new ones or they can come in through open windows / open greenhouse vents in warm weather.
Whitefly - They are capable of laying up to 200 eggs in groups on the underside of the leaves, so numbers can build up quickly. Tiny larvae emerge ,which search out suitable feeding sites and lose the ability to move. This immobile "scale" stage is pale green, about 2mm long and lives under the lower leaves only - pictured left. The life cycle consists of adult laying eggs, to larvae, to scale and finally to adult, this whole process can be completed in as little as 3 weeks in the summer.
N.B. Whitefly should not be confused with aphids, which shed their skin leaving them on the leaves. To tell the difference shake the plant, whitefly will fly off whereas aphid skins will remain stuck. If it is aphids, use aphidius and / or aphidoletes for control - CLICK HERE.
Encarsia - Protect your plants by introducing Encarsia Formosa - a natural parasite of whitefly AS SOON as the first whitefly appear and the temperatures are above 10C / 50F. Encarsia are introduced to the greenhouse as dots on small ,white cards, which are simply hung on the lower leaves of the plants. Encarsia is a tiny insect with clear wings ,which seeks out whitefly scale and deposits an egg inside it. As the beneficial Encarsia develops INSIDE the whitefly scale, the whitefly is destroyed and turns black, before a new Encarsia emerges ready to repeat the cycle. Each Encarsia is capable of laying 300 eggs inside 300 whitefly scales in 30 days. It is safe for you, children, pets and wildlife. Food crops such as tomotoes can be harvested continually, where Encarsia is used.
Encarsia is available as a half course or a full course. Two or four separate deliveries at 7 day intervals allows the Encarsia numbers to build up naturally resulting in better control.
- A half course is two introductions at 7 day intervals and is for a small greenhouse where the whitefly have just appeared.
- A full course is four introductions at 7 day intervals and is for larger greenhouses or where the whitefly have had time to get established.
"Encarsia, miraculous! I've had whitefly in my conservatory for 15yrs. After using your encarsia last year I couldn't believe how the whitefly vanished like magic. I tell all my friends about you." Lady B.
"I had a very bad problem on fuchsias and tomatoes, sprayed with all kinds of nasty chemicals. Used encarsia - not had a problem since. Marvellous! Like a miracle!" A.G. of Norwich.
"Used encarsia on fuchsias, pelargoniums and begonias for the first time last year. I've always had problems but this kept the plants completely free. Marvellous!" Mr H. from Cambridge.
Down in Price - Glue Traps - Hang yellow Glue Traps next to plants in spring to monitor & control any early whitefly. Sticky glue traps should be placed next to the growing point of the plants. For plants such as tomatoes, hang the traps with string from the greenhouse roof ,so they can be raised as the plant grows. As the good Encarsia congregate in the lower leaves, the traps will only catch whitefly, which fly to the tops of the plants. Whitefly are attracted by the bright colour and become stuck to the trap. They should be changed as they become dirty. Available in packs of 10 or 30.
SB Invigorator - Use SB Invigorator spray to control whitefly until the temp. is 10C/50F and Encarsia can be introduced. SB Invigorator can then be used to mop up any whitefly "hotspots" i.e. big clusters of whitefly which appear while the Encarsia get established. You should also use it for a pest emergency - been away or not noticed a rapid build up of whitefly - use SB Invigorator to get control BEFORE introducing beneficial insects.
SB Invigorator - Controls whitefly and used regularly will reduce fungal diseases such as mildew PLUS it contains a foliar feed to help plants recover from pest attack. SB Invigorator is not only highly effective, but it is also biodegradable and non -toxic ,which means it can be used in the garden, conservatory or in the greenhouse and on edible plants too - pick and eat straightway. It is suitable for use throughout the year. SB Invigorator is brilliant at clearing heavy infestations BEFORE introducing a natural control - see our Emergency Pest Pack below.
SB Invigorator is available as a 500ml ready to use spray, as a 250ml concentrate (makes 25 litres of spray) or as a 1 litre super concentrate (makes 500 litres) for use in your own sprayer.
"The plant invigorator spray is working beautifully on the aphids in the back garden and it is a pleasure to be able to spray something effective ,but based only on plant oils." Jacob by email.