Response of ground-dwelling arthropods to a 'push-pull' habitat management system: spiders as an indicator group

  • Published source details Midega C.A.O., Khan Z.R., Van den Berg J., Ogol C., Dippenaar-Schoeman A.S., Pickett J.A. & Wadhams L.J. (2008) Response of ground-dwelling arthropods to a 'push-pull' habitat management system: spiders as an indicator group. Journal of Applied Entomology, 132, 248-254.


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 the 2002-2004 at three sites (Midega et al. 2008) found more wolf spiders (Lycosidae) in push-pull maize Zea mays cropping systems than in maize monoculture in western Kenya (averaging 31-141 vs. 19-71 wolf spiders/plot) and Potchefstroom, South Africa (15-16 vs. 6 wolf spiders). Overall spider numbers (Araneae) were also higher in push-pull than monoculture systems in Kenya (52-187 vs. 30-101 spiders/plot) and South Africa (21-28 vs. 9-11 spiders). Spider diversity was similar between cropping systems in Kenya (21-60 species/plot) but higher in push-pull than monoculture systems in South Africa (21-31 vs. 9-14 species). Wolf spider diversity was similar between systems at all sites. Each cropping system was replicated four times at two sites in Kenya (using 40 x 40 m plots) and one site in South Africa (35 x 38 m plots). The push-pull system comprised silverleaf desmodium Desmodium uncinatum grown between maize rows and Napier grass Pennisetum purpureum planted around the plots. Spiders were sampled by pitfall traps and soil samples. Five pitfalls were placed in four 15 x 15 m areas/plot and monitored weekly. Five soil samples/plot (20 x 20 x 20 cm) were taken fortnightly.

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