Pod sucking bugs are primary pests of pigeon peas.
The most common pod-sucking bugs are: giant coreid bugs (Anoplocnemis spp), spiny brown bugs (Clavigralla spp), Riptortus bugs (Riptortus spp) and green stink bugs (Nezara viridula).
These bugs suck developing seeds through the pod wall. The seeds become shrivelled with dark patches. Attacked seeds do not germinate and are not acceptable as food. Fungal spores are sometimes transmitted with the mouthparts during feeding, resulting in rotting of the seeds. The spiny brown bug Clavigralla tomentosicollis is one of the most important pests of pigeon peas in Eastern Africa.
Sucking bug adults are difficult to control since they are very mobile and can invade crops from neighbouring sites.
- Immature bugs can be handpicked and destroyed.
- Adults can be collected with insect nets and destroyed.
- The main natural enemies of bugs are egg parasitoids, assassin bugs, ants and birds.
- Spraying with aromatic plants (e.g. gums, lantana, khaki weed etc.) has been suggested to repel bugs (Elwell and Mass, 1995).
- Neem-based pesticides reportedly reduce feeding by green shield bugs. For more information on neem click here.