Habitat management in control of Astylus atromaculatus (Coleoptera: Melyridae) in maize under subsistence farming conditions in South Africa

  • Published source details Midega A.O., Van den Berg J. & Khan Z.R. (2007) Habitat management in control of Astylus atromaculatus (Coleoptera: Melyridae) in maize under subsistence farming conditions in South Africa. South African Journal of Plant and Soil, 24, 188-191.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Combine trap and repellent crops in a push-pull system

Action Link
Natural Pest Control
  1. Combine trap and repellent crops in a push-pull system

    A randomised, controlled trial in 2002-2003 in Potchefstroom, South Africa (Midega et al. 2007) found fewer pest spotted maize beetles Astylus atromaculatus in push-pull cropping systems of maize Zea mays, silverleaf desmodium Desmodium uncinatum and Napier grass Pennisetum purpureum (45-252 spotted maize beetles/plot) than in maize monocultures (453-649 beetles). The same effect occurred with Bacillus thuringiensis maize or conventional maize varieties. A greenhouse study found fewer spotted maize beetle catches in baited traps containing silverleaf desmodium (12% of captures) than baited control traps (27%), although similar tests in sorghum Sorghum bicolor fields found no effect of desmodium on beetle captures. Two push-pull plots (with different maize varieties) were compared with two monoculture controls. Push-pull plots comprised silverleaf desmodium planted between maize rows and Napier grass along plot margins. Plots were 38 x 35 m. Spotted maize beetles were counted on every maize plant in six 5 x 5 m areas/plot. In the greenhouse study, yellow water traps containing 2-phenylethanol lures were placed in cages with either a potted desmodium plant or a pot without desmodium. One hundred beetles were released in each cage and captures were monitored after 24 hours.

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