Aphids are one of the most common problems for tomato plants. They grow fast and form colonies on tender leaves. They also pose a threat by having the ability to transmit viruses. The main difficulty here is their resistance to many insecticides.
The adult aphids as well as the nymphs suck the sap of younger plants and their succulent parts. The affected plants show twisted or curled leaves and swollen branches. When left untreated, they may even lead to uncontrolled infestation causing stunted growth of the plant. The leaves may turn yellow or brown and fill with ants that further help the aphids to transit from one place to another. The sticky exude due to infestation could also attract fungi- the black sooty mould.
- Companion crops and trap crops are one of the most effective ways to control these aphids.
- Plants that can harbour parasites such as ladybugs and parasitic wasps are preferred as these parasites can kill aphids.
- Controlling ants is another method since ants are the carriers of aphids.
- Installing sticky traps in the field and maintaining the field weed-free are other popular methods to prevent aphid infestation.
- Shamrock Overseas Limited Prime Gold Insecticide: It is a systemic insecticide containing Acetamiprid 20% and is effective against a wide spectrum of insects. It comes as a soluble powder which is diluted in water and sprayed on the crops. The dilution is 20-40 gm per acre.
- Marshal Insecticide: It is a contact insecticide which can also be a stomach poison for aphids. The active ingredient Carbosulfan 25% EC fights off chewing and sucking pests from the crops and promotes healthy growth of the plants. The recommended dosage for this liquid insecticide is 320-400 ml per acre.
- Tatafen Insecticide: The 10% EC of Fenvalerate in this insecticide is effective against sucking pests via contact synthetic pyrethroid action. It works on a wide range of pests and is highly effective. The recommended dosage for this is 2.5 ml/litre or 500 ml per acre.
The damage caused by aphids on tomato plants is multilevel from affecting the leaves thus preventing proper photosynthesis to infesting fruits making them unfit for markets. Proper management of these pests with these insecticides along with proper prevention measures are essential. Only the combined efforts can be fruitful as they could be resistant to many insecticides.
Note: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial or legal advice. Pesticides are a considerable risk of loss in crops and viewers are advised to do their own research before making any decisions.