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Lesson Nine

Biological Pest Control 9-2

Garden Pests and Their Biological Controls



Whitefly are an extreme problem for greenhouse growers, field and or-
chard crop farmers and home gardeners. The whitefly sucks large quanti-
ties of sap from the plant and secretes the sugars as honeydew. This
makes the leaves sticky and susceptible to fungal growth and rot. In a ser-


ious infestation, the fungus and rot associated with the honeydew can kill an entire crop in a matter of weeks. In addition, whitefly can pose a great threat to plant health because they are able to transmit many plant viruses.

A whitefly looks like a small white moth, 1/8" in length. They rest on plant leaves and will quickly fly away when disturbed.

Whitefly eggs on the
underside of
a tomato leaf

lie their eggs on the under side of a leaf.
Shiny, sticky leaves are signs of whitefly presence.

Biological Control:

Encarcia Formosa.

This tiny parasitic wasp lays its eggs in the larvae of
the whitefly. Parasitized larvae turn black and are eas-
ily recognized. Adult EncarsiaFormosa also feed on
honeydew and the body fluids of whitefly larvae.

Encarcia Formosa