Whitefly is a close relative of aphids, which suck the sap from plants. It is becoming a problematic greenhouse pest worldwide. Greenhouse crops such as tomato, cucumber, egg plant, gerbera, and poinsettia are damaged by whitefly.
The Bug Factory has been successfully mass rearing Dicyphus hesperus since 2011, adding another efficient tool to the existing biological agents used to target whitefly.
The potential of D. hesperus as a predator of greenhouse whitefly was assessed and proven in the laboratory and commercial greenhouses in British Columbia and a few other provinces by Dave Gillespie along with other collaborating agencies and organizations such as Biobest Canada (1998 and 1999).
D. hesperus is a voracious predatory insect with sucking mouth-parts. The insect is a general feeder but it appears to prefer whiteflies, feeding particularly on the eggs and larval stages. All species of whitefly including the most common ones, glasshouse whitefly and Bemisia, can be consumed.
Although Dicyphus’s preferred prey is whitefly, it will consume many other insect species such as aphids and to a lesser extent two-spotted spider mites, moth eggs, and thrips.
Total of 1-2 Dicyphus per m2 depends on pest pressure.
For management of whiteflies, it is better to use Dicyphus in conjunction with the parasitic wasps, Encarsia formosa, Eretmocerus eremicus, and/or Eretmocerus mundus.
– Dicyphus Dome : 6-7 productive adults (male and female) on mullein plant (Verbascum thapsus) in a 4” degradable pot. The plant will grow along with the crop while Dicyphus is breeding.