|Whiteflies make a home on a potted mint, |
Mentha piperita. Photo by J. Corser.
By: Steven Frank and James R. Baker, Extension Entomologist Emeritus
GREENHOUSE WHITEFLY, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood), Aleurodidae, HOMOPTERA
It was previously thought that lower greenhouse temperatures used in the culture of some bedding and potted plant varieties tended to encourage infestations because naturally occurring parasitic wasps (Encarsia formosa) are reproductively inhibited at temperatures below 75F. This does not seem to be the case. The Encarsia formosa, now in the commercial biological control trade, seems to works well at most greenhouse temperatures. Chemical control of whiteflies is difficult because the eggs and immature forms are resistant to many aerosol and insecticide sprays. One must make regular applications of pesticides to control emerging adults until the last of a whole generation of immature whiteflies has emerged.