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Crops > Vegetables > Tomato > Tuta absoluta, tomatoes, Africa

Crops Vegetables TomatoTuta absoluta, tomatoes, Africa

Tuta absoluta, tomatoes, Africa

February 2013. Ethiopia asked about an FAO initiative on Tuta absoluta, a new tomato insect pest, that is causing up to 100% loss. Information was needed on the programme and the control measures that it was advocating.

There is a lot of information on this pest on the Internet, with different strategies recommended. One strategy uses heteropteran predators. Africa has a lot of Oriusspecies (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) that are very good predators, so maybe if you use the right control methods, you can encourage large populations of Oriusbugs in the fields, which would reduce the numbers of the moth.

There are images of the bug at:


The FAO, along with partners, is carrying out “soft pest controls” against tomato leaf borers (Tuta absoluta) in the Mediterranean region, including some North African countries. The response has already minimized damage, while planning is under way to extend work to Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. Leaf borers arrived in Spain from the Americas in 2006 and have spread across the Mediterranean region, and as far north as Switzerland.

The controls employed in the FAO programme have included pheromone traps, natural predators, insect-proof screens and double doors in greenhouses, the removal of infested crops, and rotation of crops with non-solanaceous varieties. Pest rapidly developed resistance to chemical products.


In order to provide more of information and measures (as mentioned by above), the situation in Ethiopia is required. This pest became, as expected, a very serious pest also in several African countries.