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Tomato leaf miner

Tuta absoluta
  • Use pest-free transplants. Inspect new seedlings carefully before they are transplanted into the field or under shelter
  • Seal door frames and window frames of shelters, e.g. greenhouses. Close any openings with insect-proof netting (with mesh less than 1.6 mm)
  • Remove and destroy weeds that act as alternative host plants, e.g. Datura, Solanum
  • Tools should be cleaned after use in infested fields
  • Avoid rotation with Solanaceous crops such as eggplants, Irish potatoes, tomatoes and capsicum
  • The pest is a tiny moth that lay eggs on tomato plants. The caterpillars cause damage by feeding on leaves and fruits.
  • Look for:
    • Eggs on leaves and stems
    • Mines and droppings on leaves, stems and fruit. Leaf mines are wide and gradually become brown and necrotic. Fruit mines cause rotting
    • Exit holes on the surface of fruits
    • Adult moths underneath leaves
  • Scout for early insect pest damage on leaves, stems and fruits, especially on the upper third of the seedling.
  • Use pheromone traps, light traps or sticky traps to detect the pest early
  • Use one pheromone trap for a plot of less than 3,500 m and two traps for larger plots. Place traps at the same height as the crop. Check the trap every week and count the captured adult moths. After counting clean the traps carefully. Ensure the pheromone does not get wet.
  • Consider taking action once you notice 1-3 moths in a pheromone trap per day
  • Remove infested tomato plant materials and destroy by burying in holes more than 50 cm deep. Do not dump infested fruits at farm edges, collection points or in markets
  • Destroy plant residues after harvest by burying.
  • Apply neem products to the soil, upper surface of leaves or directly on larvae to kill them.
  • Inspect harvesting containers, field boxes or carts, packaging material and destroy or disinfect if tomato leafminer is suspected.
  • In parts of the world, the pest is resistant to insecticides based on Avermectins, Pyrethroids, Nereistoxin analogues, Benzoylureas and Indoxacarbs. Switch between insecticide types to avoid resistance development.
  • When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, pre-harvest interval, max number of sprays, restricted re-entry interval. Do not empty into drains.
  • WHO toxicity class II pesticides might not be allowed in local IPM schemes.
  • Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki products; foliar sprays against young larvae.
  • WHO class III - slightly hazardous; stomach poison for insects, must be eaten by insect; pre-harvest interval PHI 1 day, restricted REI 1 day after spray, retreatment interval 7 days, max 2 sprays
  • Azadirachtin – based products; foliar spray against young larvae.
  • Not WHO classified - unlikely to present acute hazard in normal use, moulting disruptor pesticide; PHI 3 d; REI 1 d. Max 1 spray during flowering. Bee toxic
  • Spinosad –based products; foliar spray against larvae.
  • WHO class III - slightly hazardous; biological spinosyn pesticide; PHI 3 days, REI 1 day, min retreatment interval 7 days, max 2 sprays. Spray at days without rain, but not at bright sunlight. Toxic to aquatic organisms.

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