Field evaluation of non-synthetic insecticides for the management of insect pests of okra Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench in Ghana
AbstractIn a two-year study, aqueous seed extracts of the neem tree Azadirachta indica A. Juss (Meliaceae) and Bacillus thurigiensis (Bt) were evaluated in the field for the management of pests of okra, Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench. The aqueous neem seed extracts were applied at the rate of 30, 50, 75 and 100 g/l and B.thurigiensis was applied at the rate 1.0 g/l of water. Actellic 25 EC, a synthetic insecticide, was applied at the rate of 2 ml/l as standard check. Arthropod fauna on okra were sampled using traps, sweep nets, aspirators and handpicking. The nature of damage caused to the stems, leaves, flowers and fruit was assessed by visual observation. The major insect pests of okra collected were Podagrica uniformis Jac, Aphis gossypii Glov, Sylepta derogata (F.), Spodoptera litoralis Boisd, Prodenia litura (F.), Dysdercus superstitiosus (F.), Epilachna similis (F.), Bemisia tabaci (Genn.) and Zonocerus variegatus (F.). These pests were observed attacking mainly the leaves of okra. Some of the minor pests identified were Lagria villosa (F.), L. cuprina Thoms, Mylabris temporalis Wellni, M. trifasciata (Thumb.), Lapidognatha sp and Empoasca devastans (D.). Actellic, neem seed extract and Bt significantly reduced the population and damage caused by the major insect pests of okra recorded at Legon, Ghana compared to the untreated. Actellic and aqueous neem seed extracts were equally effective against the pests of okra and caused a significant reduction in insect damage to the leaves, flowers and fruit of the crop. There were no significant differences among the different dosages of neem seed extract on all the parameters assessed, with the exception of the final fruit yield. Actellic, neem extracts or Bt produced higher yield of marketable fruit of okra than untreated plants. Neem seed extract applied at the rate of 30 g/l of water to okra plants produced lower fruit yield than those treated with 50 g or more. Aqueous neem seed extracts and Bt can be used effectively by farmers as a component of integrated management of pests of okra in Ghana.
Key words/phrases: Bacillus thurigiensis (Bt), insect pests, neem seed extract, non-synthetic insecticides, okra
SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science Vol.26(2) 2003: 145-150