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Upland rice is mostly at risk from soil-borne insect pests, including termites, which cause significant crop yield losses. Studies were conducted in 2005 and 2006 at Ikenne, southwest Nigeria to assess the effectiveness of two traditional practices (cow dung and red palm oil mixed with pawpaw), two plant extracts (neem seed oil and neem powder) and Furadan coated with garri (cassava flour) against termite attacks on nine rice varieties—NERICAs 1–7, LAC 23 and OS 6. In 2005, the results showed that neem seed oil was more effective than neem powder and cow dung in the control of termites. Of the five treatments in 2006 (Furadan coated with garri, neem seed oil, neem powder, cow dung and red palm oil mixed with pawpaw), two treatments—neem seed oil and Furadan coated with garri—gave the best protection against termite attack. Among the rice varieties, termite attack was significantly lower on NERICA 5 than on the other NERICA varieties in both years. NERICA 5 was apparently the least attacked by termites when unprotected, indicating that it could be used as a resistant check variety for termites. Yield losses were lower in the treated than in the control plots. These findings indicate that botanicals, such as neem seed oil, can provide effective control against termites on rice fields and can also be used as alternatives to persistent chemical pesticides. This study has far-reaching implications because neem seed oil is environmentally safe, easy to prepare, readily available and affordable by resource-poor farmers in Nigeria.
Termites (Isoptera: Termidae), white grubs (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and millipedes (Myriapoda: Odontopygidae) are the major groups of soil pests that are widespread and of economic importance in groundnut production in sub-Saharan Africa. Other Coleopteran pests such as wireworms (Elateridae) and false wireworms (Tenebrionidae) are found to be of occasional importance. Farmers' cultural practices such as improper application of organic manure, leaving crop residues in farms, delay in planting and harvesting, and abiotic factors such as rainfall and soil texture also influence soil pest occurrence and damage. Groundnut farmers in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa seldom apply effective control measures against soil pests. This paper reviews the major soil pests of groundnuts and their damage, and discusses adopted control practices and their applicability in integrated pest management (IPM) modules, with an emphasis on the use of resistant groundnut varieties, cultural practices, botanicals and minimal application of synthetic insecticides.
Studies were conducted using a water-based trap baited with the synthetic female sex pheromone to gain further understanding on the effect of trap height and spacing in relation to crop height on catches of males of the millet stemborer, Coniesta ignefusalis (Hampson) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Regardless of crop height, catches were greatest at trap heights of 0.10 and 0.50 m when the traps were stacked vertically. When traps were sited singly at 50 m spacing there was no significant difference in catches at the different heights. When trap spacing was varied from 50,15, 5,1 to 0 m, male moth catches in traps increased at lower trap heights, regardless of crop height. Comparison of catches in light traps and pheromone-baited traps showed a significant positive correlation. These findings have implications for both monitoring and development of millet stemborer control systems through mating disruption and mass trapping.
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