Latest crop protection developments in the subtropical fruit industry of South Africa

A part of: ,

by Schalk Schoeman

Mango bark beetle (Hypocryphalus mangiferae)

  • Involved with tree mortalities in Malelane and possibly Pongola areas
  • May transmit mango wilt Ceratocystis manginecans
  • First noticed July 2019
  • Farmers sprayed and destroyed dead and moribund trees
  • So far no recurrence have happened

Bark borers

  • Numbers appear to be increasing but not the pshb
  • Sent various samples to FABI
  • Probably related to plant stress, drought, heat
  • Macadamia researchers in Hawaii and Australia made similar observations
  • Need a country wide surveillance
  • General lure will work but will attract all beetles – molecular techniques are quite expensive
  • Will probably go into a wetter phase and suspect beetle problems to decrease

Tomato semi-looper (Chrysodeixis acuta)

Banana bunchy top virus and Pentalonia nigronervosa

  • Colonies at base of plants under old leaf sheaths
  • Move upwards when population increases
  • Banana handbook mention chlorpyrifos
  • * Imidachloprid injections used for aphid control
  • Possibility of using entomopathogenic fungus for control of colonies

Banana slug

  • Main issue is the change in the method how residue samples are taken.
  • Wholesalers are picking up residues of slug pellets

False codling moth & Avocados


  • Definite preference for certain cultivars – Pinkerton & Maluma Hass
  • Easy to find on Maluma in Hazyview & Tzaneen
  • Damage in Hazyview ± 20%
  • Appears to facilitate infection of Anthracnose – needs scientific verification
  • Damage in Africa (Tanzania & Northern Mozambique) in certain untreated areas more than 50%
  • Damage potential of this pest is big because it is able to adapt to a new diet
  • Cannot currently complete its life cycle in hard avocados but may do so in future – market access

Thrips in avocados and macadamias


  • Is becoming a serious issue where macadamias and avocados are cultivated in close proximity.
  • Cosmetic damage in avocados – fruit not fit for export
  • Effect on following crop size on Smaller leaves – reduced photosynthetic area
  • Pruning is central to effective spray Thrips normally severely affect new growth.
  • Suspect resistance – not scientifically proven
  • Dry hot summers – quicker generation time
  • Warmer climate induce trees to flower out of sync – continuous availability of flowers and new flush

Macadamia felted coccid


  • ave located parasitoids – very low numbers
  • Secondary sites now beginning to become infected
  • Very heterogeneous distribution
  • Definite cultivar preference
  • Insects prolific during autumn & winter
  • IGR + oil seemed to work very well – not registered

Immediate problems facing the subtropical fruit industry

  • Thrips is an overarching problem and appears to become exponentially more Products are not working – resistance, poor application of pesticides or climatic?
  • False codling moth is becoming a very serious problem for Maluma It is already a serious problem in Africa and may even in future become a quarantine issue
  • Urgent need for the registration of Imidachloprid on bananas
  • Need for the registration of Attract and Kill or Attract and Infect type products for the tomato semi-looper on bananas
  • Are there alternative for slug bait in bananas?
  • Need for registration of products against the macadamia felted coccid
  • Need for a chemical with a knock down action that can be used for stink bug monitoring in lieu of dichlorvos
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