Light-trap catches of Heliothis armigera (Hb.) reach peaks during the wet seasons, April and November–January. Initial infestation of seed beans by H. armigera occurs in April–May at the time of flowering of the early-sown crop, the adults probably originating from an earlier generation on maize. Two generations are completed during the main seed bean season, the first on early-sown beans and the second on later beans, and the dry period July–October may be passed in pupal diapause. Damage, caused by the older larvae eating the seeds in the pod, is prevented by spraying the young larvae with DDT (25% e.c. at 3 pt/2 gal spray/acre) (the standard treatment) or endosulfan (35% e.c. at 1½ pt/2 gal spray/acre) at about six weeks after the beans emerge.
Adults of the Pentatomid Nezara viridula (L.) invade bean fields from alternative host-plants at the same time as H. armigera. This species, even in small numbers, causes the loss of young pods and also damages or kills the developing seed. It is not controlled by the standard DDT treatment for H. armigera, but the following insecticides were found to be effective: γBHC 20% e.c. (1¼ pt), dieldrin 18% e.c. (2 pt) and endosulfan 35% e.c. (1½ pt) in 2 gal spray/acre. Where N. viridula and H. armigera are found together, the standard recommendation is endosulfan 35% e.c. (1½ pt/2 gal spray/acre).
The Coreids Acanthomia horrida (Germ.) and A. tomentosicollis (Stål) cause damage similar to that of N. viridula, but are serious only when infestations are heavy. They were found to be controlled by DDT, dieldrin or endosulfan at the rates given above.
Alatae of the bean aphis Aphis fabae Scop, invade bean fields mainly during the first two weeks of the crop, producing apterae which concentrate on the tip of the plants. Damage (stunting, and loss of flowers and pods) is serious only when large populations of apterae are produced on a high proportion of the young plants. The early infestation demands control measures separate from those for the other pests, the most effective being methyl-demeton 50% e.c. (½ pt/2 gal spray/acre) applied 3–4 weeks after emergence. Endosulfan, although promising and far less toxic than methyl-demeton to larvae of the predator Cheilomenes lunata (F.), was discarded on grounds of cost, as was dimethoate. Aphid populations reached a peak during July and August and decreased with the warmer weather in September. A large number of alternative host-plants is listed, but the source of the primary flight into beans is not known.
Melanagromyza phaseoli (Tryon), the life-cycle of which is completed in 23 days, is unimportant on seed beans as it is least abundant during the growing period of the main crop, but may damage plants suffering from water stress. Tunnelling in stems by larvae was controlled by seed dressings of aldrin or heptachlor (both 40% wettable powders mixed with seed at 1:200 w/w).