Non-target effects of the 'push-pull' habitat management strategy: parasitoid activity and soil fauna abundance

  • Published source details Midega C.A.O., Khan Z.R., Van den Berg J., Ogol C.K.P.O., Bruce T.J. & Pickett J.A. (2009) Non-target effects of the 'push-pull' habitat management strategy: parasitoid activity and soil fauna abundance. Crop Protection, 28, 1045-1051.


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, replicated, controlled study in 2002-2003 at two sites in western Kenya (Midega et al. 2009) found proportionately greater parasitism of young stem borers (Lepidoptera) in a push-pull cropping system (19% of larvae and pupae parasitised/plot) than in maize Zea mays monoculture (9-11% parasitised). Mortality caused by other factors (such a microbial disease) was similar between the push-pull system (range of 13.0-15.2% larvae and pupae killed) and the monoculture (9.6-11.4%). Similar proportions of stem borer eggs were parasitised in the push-pull and monoculture systems (21 vs. 18-25% eggs parasitised). Push-pull and monoculture treatments were tested in 40 x 40 m plots. Push-pull plots contained silverleaf desmodium Desmodium uncinatum between rows of maize and Napier grass Pennisetum purpureum trap crops around plot margins (spaced 1 m from the crop). Treatments were replicated four times at each site. Stem borer eggs, larvae and pupae were sampled from 10 maize plants in each of four 15 x 15 m areas/plot. Samples were assessed for parasitism by parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera) in a laboratory. A separate laboratory study found that the common parasitoid wasp Cotesia sesamiae was attracted to silverleaf desmodium flowers.

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