Whitefly Pest Solution: Encarsia

Encarsia Description

EncarsiaEncarsia (Pronounced: EN-CAR-SEE-A) is a tiny black and yellow parasitic wasp about 1mm in length. Adult females lay their eggs into whitefly scales (the static, sap-sucking whitefly larvae).

Encarsia Life Cycle

An adult female will lay up to 60 eggs during her short lifetime of 10 to 14 days. Whitefly scales that have been parasitised by Encarsia turn black after about 10 days. Development from egg to adult takes about 28 days at 20°C or 14 days at 30°C.

Encarsia Usage

  • Encarsia should only be used in greenhouses or conservatories.
  • Encarsia should be introduced at the first sign of whitefly, yellow sticky traps can be used to monitor when this is.
  • If temperatures are not high enough, use SB Plant Invigorator to keep the numbers down before Encarsia can be introduced.
  • If the whitefly population is already high, it is advisable to spray first with SB Plant Invigorator to reduce the numbers.  It may also be necessary to repeat SB Plant Invigorator sprays after Encarsia are introduced, to help establish control at low whitefly levels.  In this case, apply SB Plant Invigorator only to leaves that are densely infested with scales or adults.  Generally, scales will be found on slightly older leaves and adults on young leaves towards the growing point of shoots.   Spray undersides of leaves, where most of the whitefly are located.
  • Encarsia cannot be stored, and should be used on the day of receipt.
  • Temperatures should not fall below 10°C (50°F) at night, Encarsia will be most effective when temperatures are at least 18°C (64°F) during the day.
  • Encarsia may not work well on daturas or regal pelargoniums.
  • Like all Defenders biological controls, Encarsia is harmless to children, pets and wildlife. 

Biological Whitefly Control Product Details

Defenders supply Encarsia as parasitised whitefly scales on strips of cards. Hang them amongst the infected plants.  To cover a complete generation of Whtefly (6 weeks), 3 introductions of Encarsia at 2 week intervals is recommended. 





  Encarsia 5 cards

One strip of 5 cards


Encarsia 10 cards

Two strips of 5 cards


All packs of Encarsia are sent with full release instructions contained in the document wallet on the package.

Remember! Biological controls are living creatures and can be effected by chemical usage. If you've used any pesticides recently, check with us before ordering Encarsia as it may not be possible to use them. 

For heavy infestations of Whitefly or if it is too cold, you can use SB Plant Invigorator, an organic spray. This will target colonies and reduce the population. The beneficials can be released as soon as the SB treated leaves are dry but should NOT be used after their release. SB can also be used to spot treat small outbreaks of Whitefly