Trend in mango production and potential threat from emerging white mango scale, aulacaspis tubercularis (homoptera: diaspididae) in central and eastern Kenya
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White mango scale, Aulacaspis tubercularis Newstead was reported to have been recorded in Kenya long ago. However, there has been no documented report of study regarding its impact on mango production in this country. The current study surveyed the distribution, severity status, farmer's knowledge and management practices of A. tubercularis in three counties in central and eastern Kenya in 2015. It was found that the pest was distributed in almost all of the 75 orchards addressed in the counties. The mean and standard deviation of female A. tubercularis on mango leaf was 1.35+.81 in Kiambu, 2.75+3.17 in Machakos and 1.47+1.49 in Murang’a County, indicating irregular distribution among orchards of each county, mainly among that of Machakos and Murang’a. The severity status was found to have been more of mild with few high and very high statuses. About 66.67% of mango growers knew the presence of the insect of which 14% did not consider it as pest. About 57.33% of the respondents attempted to control white mango scale by the use of pesticides and other methods, of which 13.95% said, could control it as planned. Further systematic study is needed to implement informed management system to control this emerging mango pest.