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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Sucking bugs on Passion Fruit

Nezara viridula; Boerias maculata; Anoplocnemis curvipes; Leptoglossus membranaceus
Kenya

Recognize the problem

Several species of sucking bugs feed on passion fruit. The most important include the green stinkbug, brown stinkbug, giant coreid bug or tip wilter and the leaf footed plant bug.
Adult bugs have a shield. They are about 12 to 20 mm long and approximately 8 mm wide. Bugs are usually greenish or reddish brown in colour.
They suck sap from the growing tips or developing fruits. They pierce the terminal buds, which eventually wilt and die back. Young plants may be killed if the attack is severe. The punctured young fruits develop localized hardened spots that remain permanently on the fruit reducing their market value.

Background

When bugs are disturbed they either fly away or fall to the ground or to the lower portions of the plant. The bugs do not like soapy water as the water makes them loose hold of the plant. The soapy water also suffocates them and damages their outer layer.
Old crops or sprouting stumps left in the field provide safe hideouts for bugs.

Management

Non-chemical control
  • In small orchards the affected plants can be shaken. The bugs will fall on the ground; these bugs can then be handpicked and destroyed.
  • Spray plants with a soapy solution. This washes the bugs off the plant.
  • Old crops and sprouting stumps should be destroyed or dug into the soil.
Chemical control
  • Some of the chemicals used in controlling bugs include Chlorpyrifos, Buprofezin, Chlorpyrifos methyl and Lambda Cyhalothrin.

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: South Africa, Philippines, Cambodia, Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Kenya

Authors: This factsheet is based on information written for "The Passion Fruit Farming Handbook", first published by KENGAP HORTICULTURE, 2011.
Kengap Horticulture Ltd, P.O Box 12898-00400 Nairobi, Kenya
tel: +254 722 575544; +254 723 491549 email: books@kengap.co.ke; www.kengap.co.ke
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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