The influence of companion crops in the control of insect pests of cowpea in intercropping systems
Keywords:lntercropping, Companion crops, Cowpea, Insect pests
AbstractThe influence of companion crops on pest infestation of cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] was investigated using five crops arranged in a randomized complete block design. Maize, pepper, and cassava plants significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the population of cowpea flower thrips, Megalurothrlps sjostedti (Trybom), on the cowpea intercrop. The infestation of cowpea by the cowpea aphid, Aphis craccivora (Koch), was also significantly reduced by the presence of pepper (P < 0.05) while maize, cassava, and pigeon pea intercrops reduced the incidence of blister beetles, Mylabrls sp. on cowpea. However, none of the companion crops significantly reduced cowpea damage by the mung moth, Maruca testulalis (Geyer), African pea moth, Cydia ptychora (Meyr), and the hemipteran complex which constitute the major pests of the cowpea crop.