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3 Ways to Control Cocoa Fruit Sucking Pests

3 Ways to Control Cocoa Fruit Sucking Pests

Makintau - Pest infestation is one of the main problems in agriculture. Cocoa is one of the agricultural commodities that are susceptible to pests. In addition to borer pests, the type of pest that most often attacks this plant is the cocoa fruit sucking pest (Helopeltis spp.). Various studies show that the infestation of this pest can reduce the productivity of cocoa fruits by 50-60%. Of course, farmers will suffer heavy losses.

Usually, fruit-sucking pests attack in the morning and evening because this type of pest does not like sunlight. Therefore, cocoa fruit sucking pests usually hide in dark parts of the plant (for example behind leaves or fruits, even stems).

The attack of this pest on young cocoa fruits can cause the skin of the fruit to crack and abnormal fruit growth (malforation). Due to its abnormal growth, automatic seed development can be hampered.

Meanwhile, an attack of fruit-sucking pests on older cocoa fruits can cause the skin of the fruit to be full of dark spots. Therefore, farmers should know how to overcome fruit-sucking pests in cocoa.

Here are 3 ways to control fruit-sucking pests on kako.

Biological Control

Biologically, the control of fruit-sucking pests in cocoa can be done by inoculation methods, namely by moving microorganisms, both bacteria and fungi, from their original place to a new medium.

This method of inoculation is carried out by moving white fleas to invite black ants who are natural enemies of this pest. Black ants will eat pest eggs found on the surface of the fruit.

In addition to white flea inoculation, black ants can be invited by making them houses made of seresah tied to the branching of cocoa plants.

Pest Control Technically

This form of control can be done by pruning branches of cocoa plants that are already unproductive and overlapping. Through pruning such branches, the humidity of the planting area will decrease.

The moist region is a region favored by cocoa-sucking pests. If the area is not moist enough to live in, then fruit-sucking pests will go in search of other places that are more humid.

In addition to pruning branches of cocoa plants, technical culture control can be done in other ways, one of which is by planting shade plants such as lamtoro and sengon around the cocoa planting area. This shade plant will be a good home for black ants who are natural enemies of fruit-sucking pests on cocoa.

Chemical Control

Chemical pest control is the most common form of pest control we encounter done by farmers, both nationally and globally.

However, this control is actually a last resort after other forms of control are less satisfactory or even unsuccessful. This form of control can be done by applying insecticides on plants in accordance with the recommended dose.

In addition to insecticides, we can also apply fertilizers containing elements P and K. Element P can enhance the regeneration ability of cocoa plants from damage, while element K has an important role to strengthen plant tissue. The thing that is avoided is element N, because if applied excessively, this element can soften plant tissue.

Those are 3 ways to control fruit-sucking pests on cocoa. Well, for those of you who are or plan to cultivate cocoa, how to overcome this pest is important to know.

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