African bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera)
The African bollworm caterpillars are 3 to 4 cm long. Several leaf-eating caterpillars feed on cowpeas. Several species of Spodoptera are sporadic cowpea pests. The hairy caterpillar Amsacta moorei causes extensive damage to seedlings and it has been considered the most important pests of cowpeas in Senegal. African bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) can cause extensive damage on young pods. Natural enemies are important to keep pest populations at low level.
- Monitor regularly for caterpillar eggs and just emerging caterpillars.
- Hand pick eggs and young caterpillars. This helps when their numbers are low and in small fields.
- Use of bio-pesticides such as botanicals (e. g. neem extracts) and Bt. For more information on Neem click here. For information on Bt click here.