Sweet potato moth (Omphisa anastomasalis)
The sweet potato moth is a minor pest in West Africa. Damage to sweet potato plants results from the caterpillar boring into the main stem leading to the roots. Vines with severe tunnelling show weak growth and poor foliage development; this foliage later yellows and wilts. The distal part of the vine above the damage site often dies. Such plants show poor storage root formation. In some cases caterpillars may bore directly into storage roots.
This moth is a pest in Asia, but its status in East Africa is unknown.
- Hand-pick caterpillars or attacked vines and destroy them. This is feasible in small plots.