Laboratory studies to develop cassava bait to control insect infestation of cocoa beans using coffee bean weevil, araecerus fasciculatus (de geer) (coleoptera; anthribidae), as model species

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An experiment was conducted at the Laboratory of the Horticulture Department of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology between January and March, 2012 within temperature and humidity ranges of 18 – 32 °C and 63 – 85 %, respectively. The purpose of the investigation was to develop an effective insecticidal cassava bait to control insect pests of cocoa in storage using Araecerus fasciculatus (De Geer) as model species. The experiment was conducted in a five-roomed glass cage of 60 cm x 60 cm x 200 cm with the backside made of a net to improve aeration in the cage. It was observed that A. fasciculatus preferred sun-dried chips to fresh chips, fermented dough, flour and cocoa beans and that soaking of sun-dried chips in brown sugar solution of 500 g per litre of water further enhanced the preference. Deltamost emerged superior to Fastrack and Confidor insecticides by registering 4 – 6 minutes of lethal time, 21 – 30 days persistence and attract-and-kill potential of 76.7 – 86.7 % of infested bagged cocoa beans. However, cassava bait at 25 % of Deltamost insecticide was at equal strength (p < 0.05) with the 50 and 75 % of the label dosage and should be the obvious choice for the insecticidal cassava bait preparation.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy (M. phil.) Post-Harvest Technology.