The most common Whitefly species to attack indoor grown plants is the Glasshouse Whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum). There is another species of Whitefly that can be found on outdoor produce, such as Cabbage, called the Brassica Whitefly (Aleyrodes prolletella).
Whitefly are sapsuckers of plants and can consume huge amounts of sap. Much of this sap contains sugar which is excreted back onto plants by the Whitefly as honeydew, which sooty moulds will then grow on. Plant growth can be stunted, or slowed, when Whitefly are present in large numbers, and leaves can wilt or drop. Produce, such as Tomatoes, can be soiled with sticky deposits. Whitefly can also transmit plant viruses from plant to plant.
The first step to take in controlling a Whitefly infestation is to monitor the population levels with our Yellow Sticky Traps, if wishing to control an indoor infestation.
The biological control of Whitefly, in greenhouses and indoor plantings, is then best achieved with a tiny parasitic wasp called the Encarsia formosa,which requires warm temperatures to be fully active. Once temperatures are high enough, the Encarsia formosawill provide an efficient form of biological control and should also be introduced on a regular basis to keep control of whitefly populations. Encarsia formosa can now be supplied as a choice of programmes, where we will provide you with regular introductions. The Encarsia formosa can also be purchased individually.
Encarsia formosa is not suitable for the control of Brassica Whitefly, or Glasshouse Whitefly, in cooler conditions, which may occur earlier in the year in unheated glasshouses. For these cooler conditions, or for Brassica Whitefly control outdoors, introduce the predatory mite Amblyseius andersoni, which will feed on the Whitefly eggs. This is now available as Whitefly Killer Andersoni. If conditions are not suitable for the use of predators or parasites, spot treat with nontoxic treatments such as our SB Plant Invigorator.