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New Tomato Pest Alert

A potentially devastating new species of leaf miner has been detected in several locations in South Africa recently.

Tuta absoluta originates from South America and has been very destructive on tomato crops in Europe for the past five years. The pest is much more aggressive than the American Leaf Miner that has been associated with crops such as tomato and potatoes in South Africa in the past. Fortunately, DAFF and several industry players have been aware of the imminent arrival of the pest and several chemical registrations have been approved for Tuta absoluta.

We urge any tomato growers to familiarise themselves with the symptoms, as early detection and corrective action is essential to avoid crop damage.

Six insecticides have been granted emergency registrations on tomato and potato. They are Steward® 150 EC, Coragen® 200 SC, Prevathon® 5 SC, TracerTM 480 SC, DelegateTM 250 WG, and Ampligo®. The companies responsible for these insecticides should be contacted for further information regarding their use and dosages if they are to be used against Tuta absoluta in South Africa. Other control strategies include the use of pheromones, rogueing infested plants, and the reliance on natural predators.

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