Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eggplant Fruit and Shoot Borer (Leucinodes orbonalis)

Eggplant fruit and shoot borer (EFSB) is a damaging pest of eggplant. Its larvae feeds inside eggplant fruit, making the fruit unmarketable and unfit for human consumption. Entire crop can be lost from EFSB damage.EFSB feeds almost exclusively on eggplant. It can infest crops in 4 main ways. The most common source of infestation is EFSB moths which  fly in from neighboring eggplant fields that have already been damaged. Eggplant seedlings used for transplanting can sometimes be carrying eggs or tiny larvae, this is especially true if one uses slightly older seedlings that are raised near an EFSB damaged older crop or heaps of dried eggplant stubble. The issue of lack of crop rotation; (that is if the previous crop grown in the field was also eggplant), the EFSB pupae from the previous crop resting within the soil will become adults and infest the new eggplant crop. Anothe source of infestation is if old, uprooted eggplant plants are stored nearby, the pupae from underneath such plant debris can develop into adults and infest the eggplant crop.

Infestations usually begin when the eggplant plants start to flower. No control is needed before this time. Insecticides used before symptoms appear are wasteful and will kill predators, which are important natural enemies of EFSB.
         The first visible symptoms of pest activity are freshly wilted shoot tips. In crop that have not yet set fruit all larvae go to the tender shoots and feed inside these plant parts.


When a larva becomes mature, it tunnels out of the fruit at night and 
descends to the soil for pupation. Exit holes are clearly visible in fruits 
but may not be obvious in shoots because of the hairiness of shoot.

Once insect infestation begins, it can continue until the final harvest. In Seychelles, EFSB has been sighted on Praslin, La Digue and certain areas of Mahe. Effort to keep the population under control is under way but the participation and corporation of everybody is of great importance.

The ideal way to control EFSB 

For the time being the following management practices are being encouraged:- 

Farm Hygiene. Keep the farm free from Debris. 

Use plastic as a source of mulching in eggplant to prevent the fully grown larvae to pupate 

Remove and destroy the affected tender shoots, fallen fruits and fruits with  bore holes 

Use of pheromone lures to trap male moths 

Reducing the use of insecticides in order to permit the natural enemies of EFSB to proliferate  

Avoid continuous cropping of eggplant crop 

Avoid using alternate host in crop rotation

(Since moths can fly from one field to another, it is important that all farmers in a community work together to keep EFSB under control.)

(HOW TO CONTROL EGGPLANT FRUIT AND SHOOT BORER,  AVRDC THE WORLD VEGETABLE CENTRE  P.O. Box 42, Shanhua, Taiwan 741 Tel: ++886-6-583-7801 Fax: ++886-6-583-0009Website: www.avrdc.org )

(PRESENTATION  Eggplant Fruit and Shoot Borer, JULY 2011 Barry Daniel Nourice   TNAU)

(Presentation on  Eggplant fruit ans shoot borer trial using Pheromone traps)

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