Why is it a problem?
Tuta absoluta is a species of moth which is significantly reducing yields of tomato and vegetable crops. Some areas have reported a reduction of tomato by up to 100%. This has had a devastating impact on the economy of many of the countries that the moth has infested.
- Severe reduction in tomato crops
- Higher seed prices
- Negatively impacts livelihoods
What’s the solution?
There are a variety of methods to tackle the invasive moth. By removing and quarantining infected plants, smallholders are able to protect the rest of their crops. However, early intervention is key if this method is to be effective.
The use of insecticides is the most common method of controlling Tuta absoluta. However, they have been shown to have moderate to low effects regarding control of the moth at both larval and insect stage. Other methods such as inherited sterility and biological control are also being considered, as they do not require repeated investment and are a much more sustainable option. The most commonly used biocontrol agent is the mirid bug Nesidiocoris tenuis. These natural enemies are commercially sold and used widely across North Africa and Europe.
Visit the dedicated Tuta absoluta portal on our Invasive Species Compendium