n African Entomology - Habitat management and its impact on maize stemborer colonization and crop damage levels in Kenya and South Africa

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



We carried out an assessment of the impact of a diversionary maize stemborer management system on pest colonization, crop damage levels and crop yields. In this system, ovipositing moths are repelled by an intercrop and subsequently attracted to a discard perimeter crop. Studies were conducted at two sites in western Kenya and one site in South Africa. Treatments comprised two fields of maize intercropped with desmodium, and a Napier grass perimeter ('push-pull' system) and two fields of maize monocrop. Treatments were laid out in a completely randomized design at each site. Maize stemborer colonization, oviposition preference and incidence of stemborer larvae and pupae were significantly lower in 'push-pull' plots than maize monocrop plots at all sites. Similarly, the various crop damage levels were for most part significantly higher in maize monocrop than 'push-pull' plots. Maize yield per plant and per plot were mostly significantly higher in 'push-pull' than maize monocrop plots.

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