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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Bugs on Mango

Anoplocnemis curvipes; Helopeltis schoutedeni; Pseudotheraptus wayi
Kenya

Recognize the problem

The most common bugs found in mango orchards include the Helopeltis bugs also called mosquito bugs, Tip wilters and the Coconut bug. Both young and adult bugs feed on young flesh on the mid-vein of young leaves, or on flower stalks, causing wilting and death of new growth. They also feed on young fruits causing immature fruits to become deformed and fall.

Background

When bugs are disturbed they either fly away or fall to the ground or to the lower portions of the plant. The smell from crops such as onion and garlic irritates the bugs. They also do not like soapy water and it makes them lose hold of the plant.
Red weaver ants are good natural control against the bugs.

Management

Non-chemical control
  • Keep red weaver ant nests.
  • If the trees are small, shake the affected trees so the bugs will fall on the ground. These bugs can then be handpicked and destroyed.
  • Handpick regularly.
  • Spray plants with a soapy solution. This washes the bugs off the plant.
Chemical control
  • Some of the chemicals used in controlling bugs include Buprofezin, Chlorpyrifos methyl and Lambda Cyhalothrin.
To avoid killing pollinators, do not spray during the flowering period.

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 many countries where this pest or problem is present

Authors: This factsheet is based on information written for "The Mango 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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