keywords: Myzus persicae, sweet pepper, Azadiracta indica, neem, biopesticide
Field trials were conducted to comparatively evaluate the aphicidal efficiency of aqueous neem seed extract against Myzus persicae infestation on two varieties of sweet pepper (California wonder and Yolo wonder). Three concentrations of aqueous neem seed extracts (200 g/L, 150 g/L and 100 g/L), Deltrin® and neem Azal were evaluated. Aqueous neem seed extract significantly (p<0.05) exhibited good level of aphicidal activity towards eliminating Myzus persicae population in comparison to Deltrin® and neem Azal. The efficacy of the extract in reducing Myzus persicae infestation increased with increasing concentration and duration of exposure to the extract. The 200 g/L concentration of aqueous neem seed extract was most active in reducing the population of Myzus persicae on both varieties of sweet pepper at exposure duration of 168 h. However, at this concentration (200 g/L) phytotoxicity of the extract was observed on the plants. The 100 g/L and150 g/L aqueous neem seed extract improved the vegetative and reproductive traits of sweet pepper with no phytotoxic effects. Thus suggestion that at these concentrations, aqueous neem seed extract is active, safe and could be adopted by local farmers as an efficient and cost effective biopesticide in the elimination of Myzus persicae infestation on sweet pepper.
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