Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Habitat management strategies for the control of cereal stemborers and striga in maize in Kenya

Published source details

Khan Z.R., Pickett J.A., Wadhams L. & Muyekho F. (2001) Habitat management strategies for the control of cereal stemborers and striga in maize in Kenya. Insect Science and its Application, 21, 375-380


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Combine trap and repellent crops in a push-pull system Natural Pest Control

A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1998-1999 in western Kenya (Khan et al. 2001) found greater parasitism of stem borer (Crambidae and Noctuidae) larvae by wasps Cotesia spp. in a push-pull maize Zea mays system than in maize monoculture. On average, 12-43% of larvae were parasitised in a maize, Napier grass Pennisetum purpureum (trap crop) and desmodium Desmodium spp. (repellent crop) push-pull system (compared with 5-26% in a monoculture control) and 56-78% were parasitised in a maize, Napier grass and molasses grass Melinis minutiflora push-pull system (23-34% in controls). Fewer stem borers occurred in the push-pull systems, with 8-20 stem borers/40 maize plants in the maize-Napier-desmodium system vs. 39-57 stem borers in controls, and 8-10 stem borers in the maize-Napier-molasses system vs. 40-42 stem borers in controls. Maize yields were higher in the maize-Napier-desmodium (4-7 t/ha) and maize-Napier-molasses (7 t/ha) push-pull systems than controls (2-5 t/ha). Two push-pull systems were tested on 10 farms over two districts and two years. Napier grass was planted in 1 m-wide margins around 900 m² maize plots in both systems. In the first system maize and desmodium were planted in alternate rows. In the second system one row of molasses grass was planted for every 10 maize rows. A control was placed 15 m from each push-pull treatment.