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Aphids on tea

Toxoptera aurantii, Aphis spiraecola, Aphis gossypii, Myzus persicae
  • Actively remove weeds and alternate hosts from the field and surrounding area (including mango, cocoa, coffee and magnolia).
  • Maintain sufficient nutrient levels in the soil to ensure promoted plant development to withstand potential aphid infestations.
  • Avoid the use of broad spectrum insecticides to conserve natural enemies such as spiders, parasitic wasps, lacewings and ladybugs).
  • Plant resistant varieties if locally available.
  • Encourage the presence of natural enemies such as predatory ladybug beetles by planting flowing plants such as marigold as a border crop. Marigold can also act as a trap crop for aphid control.
  • Monitor crops roughly one week from the seedling stage, observe the underside of leaves and plant stems for aphid presence.
  • Adult aphids are roughly 1-2 mm long, with black-brown/red/green bodies.
  • Nymphs are roughly 1-1.5 mm long, with lighter black/brown bodies. Both the adults and nymphs are commonly found on the underside of leaves or on stems.
  • Symptoms of aphid infestation include distored leaf development, wilting, yellowing and rolling/folding.
  • Ants are commonly associated with aphid infestation due to the secretion of honeydew. Black sooty mould may also develop on the honeydew.
  • Consider direct control actions when 30% or more of crops show signs of infestations of are found with aphids.
  • Collect and destroy infested plant parts by burning.
  • Use of soap spray solution (1 teaspoon of liquid soap per litre of water) to spray the leaves to remove aphids from the plant.
  • Control ant populations using ant bait stations or with tape on the plant stems, this will expose aphids to natural predators.

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