"Whiteflies are tiny, sap-sucking insects that may become abundant in vegetable and ornamental plantings, especially during warm weather. They excrete sticky honeydew and cause yellowing or death of leaves. Outbreaks often occur when the natural biological control is disrupted. Management is difficult once populations are high." (M.L. Flint, 2015)


Females lay eggs directly on the undersides of plant leaves. The eggs hatch into tiny “crawlers” that walk a short distance before settling at a feeding location.  These nymphs lose their ability walk, and remain in the same location for the rest of their development until they pupate and emerge as winged adults. The entire whitefly life cycle takes about 3 weeks under favorable conditions, allowing populations to build quickly. Whiteflies do not have a dormant stage that can withstand freezing temperatures.

Recommended controls for whiteflies

Each control will have its own set of parameters that will be best suited for individual environments. Certain controls may only be available for commercial application.

Commercial farmers are required to reference their own state laws to ascertain if the recommended controls fall within compliance of their states regulatory guidelines.

Beneficial Insects

Biological Controls

Botanical Controls


For many years, the parasitic wasp Encarsia Formosa was the only natural enemy used against whitefly. It is capable of using various species of whitefly as hosts. The female deposits her egg in older stages of the whitefly larvae. Once Encarsia has located a larva, it determines whether it is suitable to parasitize or use as food.