Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Recognize the problem
mold refers to the various species of black fungi growing on leaves as a result
of honeydew, which is the excretion produced by sucking insects that feed on
the plant. The fungi resemble soot and can cover leaves, stems and fruits.
Fungi do not infect the plants directly but reduce their ability to utilize
sunlight, hence yield may be affected. Sooty mold also increases the cost of marketing
fruits as it needs to be removed before sale.
mold can affect a wide range of crops and grow on any surface where honeydew is
present. Sucking insects should be controlled to prevent the honeydew and
therefore the problem. Ants that feed on the honeydew can carry the sucking
insects from plant to plant and protect them from the predators which would
naturally control their numbers. Therefore, ants should be controlled to allow
predators access to the sucking insects. Tall trees infested with sooty mold
should be pruned or cut as they are difficult to spray.
attempt to control the fungus. Instead, control the insect pest that is causing
the fungal growth.
possible, remove excessive shade surrounding the plot
or treat cut surfaces of plants after pruning to limit ant infestations
- Use Golden Pest Spray
oil 3 Tbs/gallon of water every 14 days to control sucking insects such as aphids, mealy bugs, leafhoppers and whiteflies. Add cypermetrin (e.g. Fastac)
2 tsp/gallon of water to this mixture to control ants.
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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