Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Using hot pepper to control diamondback moth on cabbage
Recognize the problem
diamondback moth (DBM) is the most important pest of cabbage and other brassicas
in the world, causing yield loss of over 60% in Ghana. Young larvae damage by
feeding and mining the internal leaf tissue while the older caterpillars feed
on all plant parts.
control has become ineffective as the DBM has developed resistance to most
insecticides in use today. Thus, there is urgent need for other effective
methods of control that are environmentally friendly and safe to humans.
contains a compound called capsaicin which causes a burning sensation and
repels and/or kills the DBM larvae in the crop. The hotness of the pepper
breaks down in a few days allowing natural enemies of DBM, e.g. parasitic
wasps, to re-group to enhance natural control. Other insects that the pepper
spray will work on include aphids, whiteflies and leaf hoppers.
Transplant only healthy
pest free seedlings, planted at the onset of rains
- Obtain the ripened fruits
of hot pepper (Capsicum frutescens)
from your farm or local market
- Remove the stalks from the
fresh ripe pepper fruit and grind the pepper to obtain a uniform mixture
- Add a few drops of cooking
oil and local soap (alata samina) into the mixture to enable it stick to the
leaves for effective action
- Store the mixture
overnight and sieve in the morning using a fine linen material
- Spray using a knapsack at
a rate of 20g of pepper to 1 litre of water
- Apply pepper extract weekly,
until a week to harvest
- Repeat the application the
next day if it rains the same day, but be sure the weather is clear before
- Wash hands after spraying
and remember to use protective clothing and goggles to prevent pepper from
getting in contact with your skin and eyes to avoid irritation
period to the field should be 12-24 hours and zero pre-harvest interval
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:
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