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Aphids on okro

Myzus persicae, Aphid gossypii Green peach aphid; cotton aphid
  • M. persicaeare small aphids which feed on plant sap. These aphids can transmit plant viruses.
  • Conserve natural enemies by avoiding use of broad spectrum insecticides and providing suitable habitat.
  • Use agro-nets (400 µm mesh) from seedling to vegetative stage to prevent aphid access.
  • Use aphid repellant plants (e.g. marigold, onion and/or garlic) in alternate rows amongst okro.
  • Use dry cow dung and green herb/shrub leaves to make smoke during early morning or late evening to repel aphids.
  • Apply poultry manure (after 1 week decomposition at 850 kg/Ha) to ensure high plant vigour.
  • Begin monitoring seedling stage twice a week during early mornings and/or late evenings (especially during dry periods).
  • Observe for slow moving grey-black or green aphids, these are normally found in colonies on the underside of leaves as well as on new shoot tips and buds.
  • Observe for ants (linked with aphid presence) climbing up and down crop.
  • Look for yellowing leaves, stunted growth and honeydew on infested crops. Sooty mould may grown on the honeydew.
  • Look for curled, wrinkled or cupped leaves and mosaic patterns on the leaves (alternating dark and light patches) - these are symptoms of viruses that can be transmitted by the aphid
  • At random, examine 20-30 plants, if 2-3 have at least 2 aphid colonies then undertake direct control measures.
  • Spray infested crops with a strong jet of water to remove aphids.
  • Use soap solution (potassium soap) (add 10-15 tablespoons of liquid soap and 1 L of water in a knapsack) to spray on plants.
  • Release biocontrol agents (e.g. Aphidius spp., ladybirds, lacewings and parasitic wasps). Release roughly 5-25 per 100 square ft., weekly in areas of high infestation.
  • Spray crops with botanical extracts (e.g. garlic, neem, red chilli pepper and soap). Take 50 g mixture of each in 2 L of water, boil for 15 minutes, cool then spray during evening.

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