Tuta Absoluta Destroying Tomato Crops

Several areas are experiencing tomatoes being ravaged in the crop field. The culprit is a very tiny moth. This tiny moth is causing massive destruction towards the tomato crops. The culprit goes by the name of Tuta absoluta. In 2006 it made its appearance in Europe by infesting imported tomatoes. Eventually, the Tuta absoluta continued to spread in Europe. After spreading throughout Europe it made its way to Asia.

The drastic toll that the Tuta absoluta is causing to agriculture and farming is undeniable. The devastation is greatly affecting the farmland for countries that are still developing. Many farmers in developing countries cannot afford integrated pest management. Using integrated pest management can be a big help to keep this type of moth away. Without such management farmland crops especially tomatoes are being wrecked and ruined.

In Nigeria there was an emergency put out regarding this matter. Kaduna State experienced the crop destruction. In Kaduna State tomatoes are abundant and contribute a large portion for producing Nigeria’s tomatoes. By the month of May about 80% of tomatoes were destroyed. Prices of tomatoes began to rise because of the shortage of tomato crops.

Even though the range of destruction by this moth has been massive there are some farmers that have the means to secure their agriculture. Some farmers are using pheromones which help to lure the moth into a trap. Another option that farmers are using is bio pesticides that have fungi, bacteria, or oil based ingredients that disrupt mating for the moths. Farmers have been using pesticides with chemicals in them and natural enemies to ward off the moths from destroying tomato crops. With a good I.P.M. strategy established you will be able to have more of a handle on the Tuta absoluta.

This type of moth is very small that they can transport by wind. They have a high capability for reproduction. Uncontrolled and not managed properly this moth can cause 100% damage to farmed crops. Tomatoes are continuing to rise up in price in various areas especially when an outburst of destruction occurs. For more information regarding tomato crops and the Tuta absoluta follow this link. In conclusion, tomatoes are being destroyed and with destruction causing drastic change for those growing the crops.

Little Moth, Big Problem

As reported by the New York Times, Tuta absoluta, also known as the tomato leaf miner, is a small moth originally from Chile that is now wreaking havoc on farmers’ tomato crops around the world. Until 2006, the moth was mainly located throughout South America. Then, it was introduced to Europe in an infested shipment of tomatoes in Spain. From there, it spread throughout Europe and into Africa and Asia. These moths are capable of completely destroying entire crops of tomatoes, eating the leaves, fruits, flowers, and stems of the plants. Thankfully, there are ways to control the tomato leaf miner through the use of an integrated pest management program.

Numerous specialized tactics have been generated to control the devastation brought on by Tuta absoluta. One of the main tactics used against the moth is through the use of pheromones. These pheromones are used to lure the moths into traps to kill them; they are also used to disrupt mating of the insects, so the population does not continue to grow. Specialized pesticides are also being used. Some of them are biopesticides that are based on specific bacteria, fungi, and oils, which help to more selectively kill the leaf miner. Others are highly selective chemical pesticides. One of the most effective methods of dealing with the tomato leaf miners is introducing its natural enemies to significantly cut down the population. Unfortunately, even with these strategies, many countries are still suffering ill effects from the moth. The reason is that they do not have the money to support an integrated pest management program.

In developing countries around the world, the tomato leaf miner is posing serious threats to tomato crops, as well as eggplants, peppers, and potatoes. In northern Nigeria, tomatoes are one of the main staple crops, so when the moth made its appearance and started destroying plants, the area had to declare a state of emergency. In the end, the tomato leaf miner had destroyed 80 percent of the areas tomatoes, making the prices of a large basket of tomatoes go up from $1.50 to $212. Many other developing nations have suffered similar fates as a result of the introduction of the tomato leaf miner. Experts say, it is only a matter of time before the moth spreads even further, invading countries within its geographical limits, which includes the United States of America. Tuta absoluta is a serious threat to crops around the world, and the threat will need to be addressed or tomato shortages will become a reality in countries everywhere.