Cassava is highly consumed in 34 African countries, and most farmers in cassava processing businesses face difficulties fighting cassava pests.
In this article, we are discussing the top 10 cassava pests in 2023 and how to control them.
Cassava is cultivated under a range of conditions (ecological and agronomic). It is grown on over 80 – 85 million hectares in the African countries mentioned above.
It can adapt to marginal soils and harsh rainfall conditions, some yield under the most adverse conditions, and the chances of surviving the continuity of supply throughout the year make it very adaptable to these harsh conditions.
What You Should Know About Cassava
Cassava is a significant crop in subsistence cultivating, as it requires not to have many creative abilities or information sources. It is dry-season tolerant and produces sensible yields under antagonistic conditions.
Most significant is its capacity to stay in the soil. Different factors that make cassava famous with little-scale farmers, especially in Africa, are that it requires little labor in its generation and there are no labor peaks in light of the fact that the important tasks in its creation can be spread consistently, and its yields vary not exactly those of grains.
This tuber is a significant wellspring of vitality and the leaves, which contain an elevated level of nutrient An and up to 20% protein, are frequently utilized as green vegetables.
Cassava Pests; Everything you need to know
Cassava pests mainly are phytophagous arthropods, and plant pathogens, these species could decrease cassava creation by as much as half.
In expansion, bother issues are being made where the intensiﬁcation of cassava generation disintegrates the natural security inalienable in adjusted agro-biological systems.
The significant pest concerns are cassava green parasites, variegated grasshoppers during flare-up scenes, root mealybug in the downpour woods ecozones, cassava mosaic malady (CMD), cassava bacterial scourge, cassava anthracnose malady, and root spoils in the moist marshes.
The job of termites, nematodes, and certain weed species-specific to speciﬁc ecozones has been announced as requirements, however, they have not gotten satisfactory consideration.
The more drawn-out time span of usability of crisp cassava and expanded stockpiling of dried cassava (chips/ﬂour) will exasperate the issues brought about by present collect pests on which the items are uncovered for longer periods.
These incorporate the overwhelming bigger grain borer and a number of root spoils. Bigger grain borer can devour as much as 76% of cassava chips in just four months after reaping.
Growths are additionally known to swarm cassava chips during preparing and dealing with, in the ﬁeld or during stockpiling; they may prompt the development of mycotoxins, making the chips unfit to fulfill exchange and wellbeing guidelines.
Kinds of Cassava Pests and How to Control
They are various kinds of cassava pests that tend to pose threats to the growth of your cassava, below is our rundown:
1. The Cassava Mealybug
The cassava mealybug has a body that is encompassed by short fibers, and secured with a fine covering of wax, it is pinkish in color.
Grown-ups are 0.5-1.4 mm long. This mealybug doesn’t have guys. Females live for around 20 days and lay 400 eggs normally.
The lifecycle from egg to grown-up is finished in around multi-month at 27°C. It imitates consistently and it arrives at top densities during the dry season.
Mealybugs are scattered by wind and through planting material. It sucks sap at cassava shoot tips, on the lower surface of leaves, and on stems.
During feeding the mealybug infuses a poison into the cassava plant causing twisting of terminal shoots, which become hindered, bringing about the pressure of terminal leaves into “bunchy tops”.
The length of the internodes is diminished, and the stems are mutilated. At the point when the assault is extreme plants pass on, beginning at the plant tip, where most mealybugs are found.
How the Mealybug Attacks Cassava
- Mealybug assault brings about leaf misfortune and low-quality planting material (stem cuttings) because of dieback and debilitating of stems utilized for crop spread.
- Tuber misfortunes have been evaluated up to 80%. The bug-actuated defoliation decreases the accessibility of solid leaves, which are expended as verdant vegetables in the greater part of West and Central Africa.
- After the irritation disables plant development, weed, and disintegration in some cases leads to add up to the annihilation of the crops.
- As a rule, yield misfortunes rely on the period of the plant when assaulted, the length of the dry season, the seriousness of the assault, and the general state of the plant.
- Mealybug harm is more extreme in the dry than in the wet season.
How to Control Cassava Mealybug
- Plant from the get-go in the blustery season to permit the cassava plants a decent development before the dry season. Solid plants are bound to withstand bug assaults.
- Use soil corrections and mulch to maintain a strategic distance from dampness worry in sandy or poor soils. Mealybug numbers are higher on cassava developed on poor, sandy soils, and may cause harm notwithstanding the nearness of regular foes.
- Abstain from utilizing plagued plant material. Before planting cutting can be treated with high temp water [by drenching them in warmed water (blending equivalent volumes of bubbling and cold water) for 5-10 minutes just before planting] to kill all creepy crawlies/bugs and to keep away from a move into the recently planted field.
- Abstain from utilizing pesticides on crops encompassing cassava fields.
- Utilization of excrement or different fertilizers can bring about a decrease in the mealybug populace in light of the fact that improved sustenance brings about the creation of bigger parasitoid wasps with higher richness levels.
- Mulch and fertilizer use additionally upgrades the anti-toxin properties of cassava against mealybug pervasion.
2. Larger Grain Borer
The larger grain borer botanically known as Prostephanus truncatus has been found pervading cassava contributes capacity, especially during the blustery season in West Africa.
This bug is as of now the most genuine irritation of dried cassava away. Weight misfortunes as high as 76% following 16 weeks of capacity have been accounted for somewhere else.
How to Control Larger Grain Borer
Use botanicals or plant parts to secure and put away cassava. The bigger grain borer can be successfully repulsed by putting away cassava or grains with a genuinely huge measure of dried lantana or eucalyptus leaves.
Fowls and Other Vertebrate Pests
Winged creatures, rodents, monkeys, pigs, and household creatures (cows, goats, and sheep) are normal vertebrate pests of cassava.
How to control it
- Fence ranches and set snares in the fence.
- Spread uncovered roots with soil.
- Weed your cassava ranch to demoralize rodent pests.
3. Red-Billed Quelae Bird
The red-Billed Quelae Bird is one of the most hazardous of every horticultural vermin in Africa and causes nourishment deficiencies in numerous nations.
The group breeds on the occasion of bounteous precipitation and youth are prepared to move with the migrant rush within six weeks, often harmonizing with the maturing of grain crops.
A settling settlement of Red-charged quelea can reach out to more than several sections of land, and a solitary rush may number a huge number of winged creatures, moving together in a synchronized design.
How to Control Red-Billed Quelae Bird
Ongoing talks about quelea fowl bother control have begun to turn towards a forecast of reproducing dependent on climate designs, also you can destroy the habitat of these cassava pests.
4. Striped Mealybug
The Striped mealybug botanically known as Ferrisia virgata is a whitish mealybug with two longitudinal dull stripes, long polished wax strings, and two long tails. It achieves a length of 4 mm.
The striped mealybug happens on the underside of leaves close to the petioles and on the stems. It sucks sap yet doesn’t infuse any poison into plants.
Seriously assaulted plants show general indications of debilitating however don’t show distortion.
It is a minor irritation of cassava, and no control is typically required as is controlled normally by regular adversaries.
How to Control Striped Mealybug
When planting, select the material to ensure it is free from mealybug.
5. Cassava Green Arachnid Bug
The Cassava green arachnid bug is botanically known as Mononychellus tanajoa. This bug is green in shading at a youthful age turning yellowish as a grown-up. Grown-up females achieve a size of 0.8 mm.
They show up as yellowish-green spots to the unaided eye. They happen on the lower surface of youthful leaves, green stems, and assistant buds of cassava.
Harm at first shows up as yellowish “pinpricks” on the outside of youthful leaves. Indications fluctuate from a couple of chlorotic spots to complete chlorosis.
These side effects are in one way or another like African cassava mosaic sickness, and ought not to be confounded. Vigorously assaulted leaves are hindered and become twisted.
Serious assaults cause the terminal leaves to pass on and drop, and the shoot tip resembles a “candle”. Green creepy-crawly vermin are significant pests in the dry season. Serious cassava pests assault brings about 20-80 % misfortune in tuber yield.
How to control Cassava green arachnid bug
- Utilize clean plant material for planting.
- Plant at the beginning of the downpours to support incredible development and in this way increase tolerance to bug assault.
- Cassava plants that matured for 2-9 months are the most defenseless against infestation.
- Work on intercropping. Cassava intercropped with pigeon peas has been accounted for to experience the ill effects of the cassava green pest that developed.
6. Red Spider Mites
The Red spider mites are botanically known as Oligonychus gossypii a few types of pest which attack cassava, generally on the more seasoned leaves.
Grown-ups are about 0.6 mm long. The beginning side effects are yellowish pinpricks along the principal vein of developing leaves.
Spider mites produce defensive webbing that can be promptly observed on the plant. Assaulted leaves turn rosy, dark-colored, or corroded in color.
Under serious pest assault, leaves kick the bucket and drop starting with more established leaves. Most harm happens toward the start of the dry season.
How to Control Red Spider Mites
- Natural predators typically control these cassava pests and no further control measures are required.
- Abstain from planting beside swarmed fields.
- Keep away from utilization of expansive range pesticides, in particular pyrethroids; this may prompt insect vermin episodes.
- Two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae). The grown-up female is 0.6 mm long. The male is littler.
7. Cassava Scales
The Cassava scales is botanically known as Aonidomytilus albus is a mussel-molded scale with a prolonged shiny white spread and around 2-2.5 mm long.
This scale may cover the stem with obvious white emissions and in the end the leaves. This scale sucks from the stem and dries out it.
The leaves of assaulted plants turn pale, shrink and drop off. Seriously assaulted plants are hindered and yield inadequately.
Scale assault can execute cassava plants, specifically plants debilitated by past creepy crawly assaults and dry seasons. Stem cuttings got from swarmed stem parcels typically don’t grow.
How to Control Cassava Scales
- Apply natural control to improve soil fertility.
- Determination of clean (scale-free) planting material.
- Obliterate pervaded stems.
- Stay away from the utilization of pesticides in the cassava field or in neighboring crops, which may execute normal adversaries.
Grasshoppers are botanically known as Zonocerus variegatus, grown-ups are dim green with yellow, dark, and orange stamping on their bodies. Sprites are dark with yellow markings on the body, legs, antenna, and wing cushions.
Female grasshoppers lay numerous eggs just underneath the outside of the soil in the shade under evergreen plants, like a rule outside cassava fields.
Eggs are laid in masses of foam, which solidify to shape wipe-like bundles, known as egg units, which resemble little groundnut cases. Eggs begin to incubate toward the start of the principal dry season.
Grasshoppers assault a wide scope of crops principally in the seedling stage. They feed on cassava plants, biting leaves and stems, and may cause defoliation and debark stems.
How to Control Grasshoppers
- Handpick grasshoppers. This is plausible in little plots.
- Find and burrow egg-laying destinations to uncover and decimate the eggs before they begin to bring forth right off the bat in the dry season.
- At the point when accessible, use biopesticides.
Whiteflies are botanically known as Bemisia tabaci is a few types of pests are found on cassava in Africa.
Sustaining causes direct harm, which may cause an impressive decrease in root yield whenever delayed bolstering happens. A few whiteflies cause significant harm to cassava as vectors of cassava infections.
The grown-ups and fairies of this whitefly happen in enormous numbers on the lower surfaces of leaves secured with a huge measure of white waxy material.
Females lay eggs on the lower leaf surface in winding examples (like fingerprints) of white material discharged by the female.
This whitefly sucks sap from cassava leaves. It discharges a lot of honeydew, which underpins the development of a dark dirty shape on the plant, causing the untimely fall of more seasoned leaves.
How to Control Whiteflies
- Using natural predators.
- Parasitic wasps specifically are significant for the common control of whiteflies.
- Whiteflies on bean stew leaf. Grown-ups are about 1mm long.
Various types of termites harm cassava stems and roots. Termites harm cassava planted late or in the dry season, specifically when the crop is as yet youthful at the pinnacle of the dry season.
They bite and eat stem cuttings which develop inadequately, pass on, and decay. They may wreck entire estates. In more seasoned cassava plants termites bite and enter the stems.
This debilitates the stems and makes them break effectively.
How to Control Termites
- Plant right on time with the downpours.
- Abstain from planting on extremely dry land or on termite hills.
- Close-up termites on mango stem.
A number of beetles feed on dry cassava causing these cassava pests to collect misfortunes. Infestation by these pests is heavier in the stormy season than in the dry season, is more common in the sticky zone than in the savannah, and is discovered more in enormous chips than in littler ones.
The most extreme invasion was found following 6 to 8 months away, at which time chips would fall into dust when crushed.
How to Control Storage Pests
Use botanicals or plant parts to ensure put away cassava.
Cassava Darker Streak Virus
The Cassava darker streak virus is botanically known as Potyvirus – Potyviridae, the infection is vectored by whiteflies (Bemisia spp.) and furthermore transmitted through contaminated cuttings.
Indications incorporate yellowing (leaf chlorosis) and dark-colored streaks in the stem bark (cortex).
It’s a stealth infection, which decimates everything in the field. The leaves may seem sound in any event when the roots have decayed away.
How to Control Cassava Darker Streak Virus
- Utilize sick-free cuttings.
- Utilize tolerant/safe assortments
- Expel ailing plants from the field.
With this, we believe this review will go a long way to help you get rid of cassava pests. Feel free to drop your contribution below.