Intercropping maize with cowpeas, and not harvesting crops late significantly reduced infestation by several species of cowpea seed beetles (C.maculatus, C. rhodesianus, C. chinensis and the bean bruchid Acanthoscelides obtectus) in Kenya (Olubayo and Port, 1997).
Good store hygiene plays an important role in limiting infestation by cowpea seed beetles.
Remove infested residues from last season's harvest.
General hygiene is also very important.
Solarisation (sun drying and heating) can be used to control infestations without affecting seed germination. When small lots are stored, sun-drying the beans can give substantial protection. Sun-dry the beans periodically in a thin layer for periods of up to 4 hours. Solar heaters or transparent bags of seeds left in the sun can provide excellent control of infestations (Ntoukam et al., 1997; Ghaffar and Chauhan, 1999). For more information on solarisation click here.
During the last few decades, researchers in Africa have been looking for pest resistance in cowpeas. The varieties 'Mouride' and 'CRSP Niebe' are reported to be resistant to cowpea seed beetle (IITA, CRSP).
Farmers often mix cowpea grains with ash to control the cowpea seed beetle. To be efficient, it should be at least five percent of ash (Gomez, C).
For more information on management of storage pests click here