International Journal of Entomology and Nematology Research (IJENR)

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Assessment of Field Insect Pests Damage on Cowpea in Gombe State, Nigeria


Survey of cowpea growing areas in the Eleven (11) Local Government Areas of Gombe State was carried out.  Ten (10) communities each were sampled in Akko, Balanga, Yamaltu, Deba, Kaltungo, Nafada, Bajoka, Billiri, Kwami and Gombe Local Government Areas in 2017 and 2018 cropping seasons.  The objective was to establish pest incidence and level of damage caused by insect pests in farmers’ fields. Questionnaires and discussions with practicing farmers, state agricultural extension workers from 107 sample sites, 100 cowpea pods were selected at random and analyzed for percentage pod damage by pod borers and pod sucking bugs. The cropping systems in which cowpea was grown were noted and percentage seed losses due to pests from each cropping system were analyzed and recorded.  From the results, major insect pests encountered during the field visits were: foliage beetles, ants, termites, flower pests [thrips (Megalurothrips usitatus) and blister beetle (Mylabris pustulata)], pod borers (Helicoverpa armigera, Maruca testulalis, Etiella zinckenella), pod sucking bugs (Anoplocnemis curvipes, Riptortus dentipes, Clavigralla tomentosicollis, Nezara viridula), aphids (Aphis craccivora), and leaf damaging weevils (Myllocerus undecimpustulatus). Results also revealed that mean damage by pod sucking bugs was highest in Balanga (74.74%), Kwami (90.4%) and Yamultu/Deba (91.04%) and least in Balanga (48%) than the damage by pod borers in all the communities surveyed. Among the cropping systems observed in the areas, cowpea/maize intercrop recorded greater damage by pod borers than pod sucking bugs while cowpea/millet intercrop had the least damage by pod borers and pod sucking bugs followed by sole cropping.

Keywords: Damage, Insects pests, cowpea, cropping systems, pod borers, sucking bugs

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