Tuta Absoluta Zimbabwe

Tuta absoluta,  which can cause extreme damage in tomatoes, eggplants, aubergine, sweet peppers and potatoes, whilst also feeding on weeds from the Solanaceae family is causing havoc in Zimbabwe presently to farmers not  using

Bio Rational solutions

 

Biorational solution for Tuta absoluta control in Zimbabwe

Russell IPM have successfully developed a programme for effective Tuta absoluta control that utilises various biological components including Recharge, Biotrine and Antario. Studies have demonstrated that the system can not only control Tuta absoluta and reduce damage to within economically acceptable levels, but it can also suppress the advance of the pest to other fields.

Recharge contains natural beneficial microbes and plant stimulants to enhance soil health and restore its natural ability to regulate pest populations. The treatment works to stimulate the plants immune system to combat climatic and biotic challenges. 

 

Antario is a novel synergised formulation of the biological product Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki can provide an ideal solution for early stage infestations. The solution integrates well with Recharge to provide an additional layer of protection

 

Biotrine is an advanced formulation of abamectin capable of penetrating the leaf structure and reaching Tuta absoluta within infested tomato leaves. It is fast acting and provides a short wait time before harvest.

 

Fytomax is based upon a special formulation of neem oil and plant extracts that work in synergy to repel insects and prevent feeding.  Fytomax will kill larvae and act as an anti-feedant and insect growth regulator, to control larvae, pupae and adult insect pests of Tuta absoluta and other leaf miners. In addition, the action of azadirachtin in combination with the neem oil works synergistically to inhibit oviposition, sterilise eggs and reduce the fitness and longevity of affected pests.

 

Tomato Spraying Guide:

 

For Tuta Absoluta, Nematode, Fungi, Aphids, Whitefly, RedSpider and Thrips

 

 

kindly download and follow weekly

2019 Tomato Spraying Guide for Tuta Abso[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [399.6 KB]

 

 

Identification of the Tuta Absoluta Moth

  • Adults are 5-7 mm long and with a wingspan of 8-10 mm.
  • Key identifying characteristics: long, hair-like antennae and silver-grey scales.
  • Adult females lay eggs on host plants and mature female could lay up to 260 eggs before completing life cycle.

Identification of the Tuta Absoluta Egg

  • The eggs of absoluta are small cylindrical, creamy white to yellow and approximately 0.35 mm long.
  • Egg hatching takes place between 4 to 6 days after egg laying.

Identification of the Tuta Absoluta Larvae

  • The larvae are cream in colour with a characteristic dark stripe on the head.
  • Pupae tend to be brown in colour and around 6 mm in length.

Identification of the Tuta Absoluta Pupa

  • Pupa: Brown in color.
  • May be found in or on the leaves or the soil, and occasionally on the flowers, fruits and growing points.

Life Cycle

Tuta absoluta has four larval instars, with each stage developing and feeding within mines inside the leaf. The mining occurs between the upper and lower epidermis layers. Some larvae may be present in the fruit and stems of the target crop.

The next stage in the life cycle of T. absoluta is development into pupae, which are typically found in soil and occasionally, on the tomato plant.
Overwintering can occur at any stage in the life cycle of Tuta, i.e. the larval, pupal and adult moth life stages. The larvae of Tuta will not enter diapause unless food is scarce.

 

Egg

Duration: 7 days

The eggs of T. absoluta tend to be laid on the underside of the leaves of the host plant.

Larvae

Duration: 11 days

After 4 larval instars the larvae will fall to the ground in a silken thread, ready to begin pupation in the soil. The larvae are very unlikely to enter diapause as long as food source is available. Tuta absoluta can overwinter as eggs, pupae and adults.

Pupa

Duration: 5 days

Development of Tuta pupa takes place in the soil and occasionally on plant parts such as the stem.

Adult

Duration: 9 days

Adult moths of Tuta absoluta are relatively small with a body length of ~7mm. The body is brown in colour with darker flecks of colour on each wing.

 

The duration of the T. absoluta life cycle in different environments:

  • 14°C will take approx. 76 days
  • 20°C will take approx. 24 days
  • 27°C will take approx. 24 days

Tuta Absoluta Training

Key Training

  • Identification of Tuta absoluta: training days will provide education on distinguishing Tuta larvae, moths and damage from those of other pests.
  • Tuta pest protection strategy: farmers will be shown a 3 step process for full protection from the moth.
  • Tuta surveillance: how to monitor crops for early signs of infestation.

Soil Health

Healthy soil is the key to a healthy crop and resilience against pests and diseases ReCharge will help to revitalise soil, improve microbial diversity and boost the plants immune system. ReCharge contains a rich combination of beneficial natural soil micro-organisms which are vital to soil health. ReCharge brings back soil health by reintroducing the beneficial microflora to the soil, stimulating plant vigour, encourage symbiotic interactions with soil microbes and plants and triggering the plant’s own defence system as well making the soil less welcoming to pupating insect pests.

Phytosanitation

Maintaining a clean growing area is essential for phytosanitation, this is because T. absoluta larvae and pupae reside in the leaves and other parts of the crop. Therefore, proper removal of all plant debris from the previous growing cycle is essential to prevent recurring infestations of Tuta.

Throughout the drying cycle of tomato crops, a high percentage of the T. absoluta are likely to emerge from the infested plants, which provides a base population for the upcoming growing cycle. Therefore, mass trapping using the water trap is particularly useful during this time.

Intervention

Biopesticides are an important element of the Tuta absoluta management programme due to the growing problem of pesticide resistance in the moth, meaning conventional strategies are becoming less effective.

Farmers need to be able to identify when T. absoluta infestation is in its early stages, so that intervention is possible before the damage becomes too severe. Russell IPM’s biorational solutions will fully integrate with other management programs.

Steps:

Monitor for the insect pest throughout the season, checking foliage and monitoring devices such as the Tuta trap regularly.

Apply Antario as first line of defence as soon as Tuta absoluta activity is detected.

Next, apply Biotrine and/ or Fytomax: the ultimate solution for advanced stages of infestation to combat Tuta absoluta.

Alternate the Antario, Fytomax, Recharge and Biotrine application until successful control achieved.