Main aphids in Africa: Black bean aphid ([i]Aphis fabae[/i]), Cabbage aphid ([i]Brevycoryne brassicae/Myzus persicae[/i]), Groundnut aphid ([i]A.craccivora[/i]), Cotton aphid ([i]A.gossypii[/i]), Russian wheat aphid ([i]Diuraphis noxia[/i]), Cypress aphid ([i]Cinara cupressi[/i])
Aphids (Aphis spp.)
Aphids are a major pest, causing leaves to curl and attacked capsules become unattractive to customers.
Aphids feed by sucking plant sap. Small aphid populations may be relatively harmless, but heavily infested plants usually have wrinkled leaves, stunted growth and deformed capsules. Plants, in particular young plants, may dry out and die under heavy aphid attack. Heavy attack on older plants may cause crop loss by decreasing flower and seed production. Damage may also reduce seed viability.
- Monitor regularly the crop.
- Whenever necessary spray only affected plants (spot spraying).
- Use biopesticides that are not harmful to natural enemies (for instance neem, ashes, soapy water). In Kenya, foliar sprays with neem products such as Neemroc(R) (1-3%) and Neemros(R) water extract (50g/l) controlled the black bean aphid on vegetables (Maundu, 1997). For more information on Biopesticides click here
- Conserve natural enemies. They are important in natural control of aphids. For more information on natural enemies click here