Field Evaluation of Two Essential Oils and a Synthetic Insecticide for the’ Control of Some Major Insect Pests of Cowpea Vigna unguiculata L. (Walp.) in Bauchi
State, Nigeria.


Abstract: Field studies were conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi (10° 17’N, 9° 49’E), during the cropping seasons of 2009 and 2010. The objectives of the experiments were to compare the efficacy of essential oils of neem, Azadracta indica A. Juss. and mahogany, Kliaya seiisgalensis A. Juss. seeds along with synthetic insecticide, Cymbush + Dimethoate (Cymbush super ED) and their application frequencies in the control of major cowpea insect pests, Maruca vitrina Fab. and Pod sucking bug complex. The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with a factorial combination of insecticide type (neem and mahogany oils) as main treatment and the application frequency (2, 3 and 4 application frequency) as sub treatment. Each of the treatments along with the control was replicated four times. Results in both seasons revealed that, all the essential oil treatments were significantly (P=0.05) better than the control in reducing population and damage caused by the two insect pests on cowpea. The three and four application frequencies proved better than two application
frequency with respect to increase in grain yield. It is therefore, suggested that resource poor farmers should be encouraged to use mahogany oil applied at bud initiation, flowering and 50% podding stages in reducing the population and damage of the two major pests for a significant increase in grain yield relative to control. Thus, this could play a role in the integrated management of the target pests in Bauchi.

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