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CAB Reviews

A reviews journal covering agriculture, global health, nutrition, natural resources and veterinary science

CAB Review

Alternatives to synthetic pesticides for the management of the banana borer weevil (Cosmopolites sordidus) (Coleoptera: Curculioniidae).


Bananas and plantains are important staple crops for many people in developing countries, but these crops are severely affected by biotic constraints that reduce productivity. A major biotic stress is the banana corm borer weevil (C. sordidus) whose larvae eat corm/pseudostem tissues that eventually weaken the plants and cause toppling. To manage these borer weevils, most farmers use synthetic pesticides with active ingredients from different pesticide groups. Over reliance and abusive use of pesticides result in detrimental effects on the environment and human health. These effects together with ecological backlashes such as development of resistance by the pest have led to numerous advocacies to minimize the use of these chemicals. To achieve this, there has been increasing number of researches to seek sustainable alternatives that could be used to replace these synthetic pesticides or be integrated with less toxic chemicals to effectively manage the pest. This review summarizes global research on the use of synthetic pesticides and alternative management techniques such as the use of appropriate cultural practices (e.g., clean planting materials, fallowing, mulching, intercropping, and trapping), botanical pesticides (e.g., from Solanaceae, Asteraceae, and Meliaceae), entomopathogens, predators/parasitoids, and the use of resistant crop varieties, as well as possibilities of engineering phytocystatins to produce transgenic varieties that will be harmful to weevil. The review ends with conclusions, limitations/gaps, and recommendations for future research for the different alternative options.