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Aphids on tomato

Aphis spp. Myzus spp.
  • Aphids are highly reproductive insects that can cause structural weakening of plants.
  • Avoid planting near aphid infested land or on land with a history of aphid infestation.
  • Active removal of weeds from plots to reduce aphid hosts.
  • Removal of alternative host species such as Amaranthus. Destroy by uprooting and burning or burying deep.
  • Intercropping with resistant species such as onion, garlic and parsley to reduce aphid populations.
  • Grow maize as a border around tomato field to attract flying aphids away from tomato crop.
  • Monitoring should be undertaken soon after crop emergence until crop harvest.
  • Regularly check for leaf curling and sticky residue on crops at least once a week.
  • Observe underside of leaves for aphid presence.
  • High levels of aphid infestation may result in the presence of black sooty mould due to honeydew secretions from aphids.
  • When monitoring crops, sample the most recently expanded leaves (4th or 5th leaf from the growing point) to give an estimate action threshold.
  • If there is no presence of aphid-transmitted viruses in the area, small aphid populations are tolerable amongst crop. If infestation grows (5-10 plants per quarter acre of field) then undertake direct control measures.
  • Prune leaves showing symptoms (curling, aphid populations on underside).
  • Removal and burning of infested crops to prevent spread of aphids to uninfested crops.
  • 10 tablespoons of liquid soap per 10 litres of water. Spray plants every week in the evening until aphid population has gone (this treatment is only effective during wet weather). Avoid overuse of soap sprays as this will burn the plant.
  • Spray neem oil products once a week for 4 weeks (4.5 ml/10 m2). Contact your local agro-input supplier to organise access of such products.

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