whitefly parasitoid wasp

Whitefly parasitoid (Encarsia formosa). Photo: David Cappaert, Bugwood.org

Updated: March 1, 2023

Wasps that control whitefly and scale pests

  • Many parasites of scales, whiteflies and other small insects are in a group of small wasps called AphelinidaeEncarsia formosa is one example that has been used commercially for control of greenhouse whitefly.

  • There are many species of Aphytis that attack armored scales. These are ectoparasites that have accounted for more successful cases of biological control than any other single group of natural enemies.

  • In addition to killing scales by laying eggs on them, many species also kill scales by host feeding to obtain protein for egg development.

  • Exit holes may be observed in armored scales that have been parasitized.

whitefly parasitoid wasp

Encarsia formosa (wasp)

aphytis wasp

Aphytis is a scale parasite

parasitized scale holes

Parasitoid exit holes in scale covers