The World Vegetable Center has developed integrated pest management packages for some of the most serious pests of vegetable production in the tropics. These practices save money, reduce reliance on pesticides, help prevent health problems due to pesticide misuse, and increase the production of high quality vegetables for consumers.
Eggplant fruit and shoot borer (Leucinodes orbonalis) management
This is the most damaging pest of eggplant in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and can cause total crop loss. Farmers currently use too many toxic chemicals to control it, threatening their health and that of consumers. An integrated pest management strategy to control eggplant fruit and shoot borer developed by WorldVeg has been widely implemented across South Asia. It involves proper field sanitation, prompt disposal of infected shoots and fruits throughout the season, installation of traps baited with sex pheromone, and withholding insecticide use to allow proliferation of the pest’s natural enemies.
Diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) management in brassicas
Diamondback moth (“cabbage moth”) is one of the most serious pests of brassicas worldwide and damage can be particularly severe in tropical areas. WorldVeg has helped to test and establish the use of parasitoids to help control the pest in both highland and lowland areas of the tropics.
Striped flea beetle (Phyllotreta striolata) management in brassicas
WorldVeg is currently researching a range of methods for control of this serious pest of brassicas. These include flooding to kill immature stages of the beetle, and identification of the key chemicals in brassica foliage as well as male-borne aggregation pheromones which may be developed into lures for trapping adult beetles.
Legume pod borer (Maruca vitrata) management
Also known as bean pod borer this pest damages both the flowers and pods of legumes. Flower buds may be shed and pod production is reduced. Following the Center’s discovery of a nucleopolyhedrovirus which attacks Maruca vitrata, this along with other methods of biological control are being developed to reduce farmers’ reliance on pesticide controls.
Bacterial wilt (Ralstonia solanacearum) management in tomatoes and peppers
This soil-borne disease can devastate tomatoes, peppers and related species. Resistant varieties are important, but the level of resistance is affected by many factors. Other control methods such as soil amendments, crop rotation, biological control, and field sanitation are often not completely effective. No single method will provide reliable control of the disease, so it is important to integrate several different methods.