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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Groundnut Aphid

Aphis craccivora
Sierra Leone

Recognize the problem

The adults of the groundnut aphid (tumbu) are shiny-black, while the young tumbu are dark brown. They are mainly found on young leaves, stem, flowers and pegs sucking the sugar water from the plant.


The young and adult aphids suck fluid from the young growing leaves, flowers and pegs, causing the leaves to fold. The pest transfers a virus (a type of sickness) which causes the plant to become stunted (small or short) resulting in loss of yield.  Also, the pest produces a sugar-like substance which turns black on the plant after sometime.  Production of this black substance in large quantity reduces food production by the groundnut, thus reducing yield further.


  • Use rosette resistant varieties, e.g. samnut 22 and samnut 23, which will hardly get the sickness.
  • Select clean and healthy seeds for planting. They will produce stronger plants.
  • Plant early between the second week in April and the second week in May for first cropping and the first week in September for second cropping so that the plant can start flowering before aphids appear.
  • Practise close spacing planting (50 cm x 20 cm) to discourage population build-up of aphids and reduce the problem of rosette diseases.
  • Intercrop or rotate groundnut with maize or other cereals.
  • Weed to remove alternate hosts.
  • Visit fields regularly starting from two weeks after planting and check plants for the presence of aphids and signs of the sickness (yellowing of leaves).

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Sierra Leone

Authors: Lahai P.J. Dumbuya, Sheku P.A. Jacob, Augustine Mansaray, John B. Kroma, I. M.O. Shamie, James M. Swaray
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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