Prevalence of Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) and Chemical Management in Loitoktok, Kajiado County, Kenya

Ndalo Victor, Ruth Gathu, Maina Mwangi


The tomato borer, Tuta absoluta, (Meyrick) has invaded the Mediterranean basin recently from South America and it is becoming a major global pest of tomato. Tomato plants can be infested from seedlings to mature plants. In Loitokitok, the pest has devastated tomato grain in the district with yield loss being reported of up to 100%. This has resulted in loss of income for the tomato growers. Chemical control of the pest has been difficult because the pests live inside the leaves, fruits and stems. Excessive use of pesticide is dangerous can develop resistance due to its high reproduction capacity and short generation. This field study was conducted within Loitokitok in Kajiado County to find out the management practices that tomato farmers are currently using to control Tuta absoluta. The aim was to develop the efficacy of a range of insecticides applied against Tuta absoluta and to assess damage levels caused on tomato. A baseline survey was conducted by use questionnaires to collect data from farmers on the damage level, management measures and their efficacy. The results showed that in Loitokitok, tomato growing can be done up to 3 times/year due to good climatic conditions, which provide the pest with abundant all year round and favours its spread. The insecticides that are commonly used are Coragen* (chlorantraniliprole) Belt* (Flubendiamide), Profecron* (profenofos), Radiant* (spinetorum), Escort* (Emamectin Benzoate), and Pentagon*(Lambda-cyhalothrin). Most farmers were using Coragen due to its specific mode of action on several pests on Lepidoptera group. It has good efficacy against T. absoluta larvae. About 46.37% of the respondents agreed that chlorantraniliprole insecticide used by farmers were effective on the control of pests and farmers were using different insecticides depending on their accessibility and cost. Most farmers recorded the losses of up to 100% tomato yield due to pest attack.

Keywords: Tuta absoluta, Tomato, Chlorantraniliprole, Loitokitok, Kajiado County, Kenya.

DOI: 10.7176/JBAH/9-22-05

Publication date: November 30th 2019

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