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Whitefly Control with Eretmix (Use above 30 Degrees)

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In conditions of fluctuating temperatures, a combined release of the whitefly parasitic wasps Encarsia formosa and Eremocerus eremicus is recommended. Both parasitic wasps are closely related. E. eremicus is lemon-colored and E. formosa is black.

The main advantages of a combined release are E. formosa’s quick population growth and E. eremicus's high temperature tolerance and effectiveness on both whitefly species (glasshouse & tobacco whitefly).


Adult whiteflies are small, white, ‘powdery’ insects (about 1 mm).  They feed on plant sap, stunting the growth of the plant.  They also transmit several viruses that can cause plant disease.  Larvae and adults secrete a sticky substance (honeydew).  It makes the leaves (and fruits) dirty and sticky and causes secondary fungal growth such as sooty mould.

Parasitic Wasps

The parasitic wasp Encarsia measures 0.6 to 0.7mm and lays eggs into the whitefly larvae.  After 10 days the parasitized pupae die and turn black (or yellow for Eremocerus).  After a further 10 to 14 days, new parasitic wasps leave the black (or yellow) pupae to infect further pupae.  A small, round, exit hole can be seen with the aid of a hand lens. Encarsia is only active at 16oC or above.  It survives at lower temperatures, but is not active.  The parasitic wasp will die if the temperature drops below 6oC.   Parasitic wasps are not harmful to humans, animals or plants.  Encarsia & Eremocerus cannot survive in the absence of whitefly.


The parasitic wasps are delivered as black & yellow pupae stuck on cards.

When they arrive, the wasps should be introduced as soon as possible.  The cards should be separated carefully. See that your fingers do not touch the pupae while loosening and hanging the cards in the crop (to prevent damage), the Eretmix will hatch through the centre of the card (just hang the cards up, do not try to open them).  The small hole on top of the card enables you to hang them up easily in the plants.  Hang the cards 50cm below the top of the plants, spreading them equally over the area to be treated. 

 Five cards can treat an area of up to 50 m2 at low pest levels. The greater the infestation, the more the wasp per m2 need to be introduced.  Repeat applications (fortnightly) are advisable if the problem is severe (April-August).  At high pest levels the use of Agralan whitefly killer is recommended to reduce the population.

Agralan whitefly killer contains no pesticide but works by a physical mode of action.  It can be used in conjunction with Eretmix and crops can be harvested the same day as spraying.

Yellow sticky traps can also be used for whitefly control.  Ensure that they are hung above the crop to minimise the risk of catching Encarsia & Eremocerus.