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Coffee Plant Pests in Central America and South America

Coffee is one of the important economic crops in Central America and South America. Two main types are C. arabica L. and C. canephora. The former is cultivated in countries like Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia. While both types are planted in Brazil, Guatemala and Ecuador.

Other coffee production countries in the wrold include Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Seri Lanka and many African countries like Ethiopia and Uganda.

world coffee production belt

Three most harmful insects in Central America and South America and their chemical controls:

Coffee berry borer (directly attack to beans): a hard to control insect as the borer spend almost the whole life inside the bean. Endosulfan is the most outstanding chemical to control the borer. It is already banned in some countries because of its high toxicity. For example of Brazil, endosulfan is banned in July of 2014, but farmers are in lack of efficient agrochemicals to control this plague now. The best time for spraying is when the adult borer starts penetrating the fruit (about 20% dry weight in the bean). Other insecticides include Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Chlorpirifos, etc.

Coffee leaf miner (larves feed on the leaves): Numerous chemical insecticides can be used, mainly are organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides.

Root mealybug (sucking sap from root): Mealybugs excrete honeydew, which will attract some ants species. The ants can protect them to live longer because of attack on some natural enemies of mealybug. Spray Chlorpyrifos on the soil around the tree to kill ants. Malathion and Carbaryl sprays can also be effective.

Some additional coffee pests are coffee green scale, coffee stem borer, cutworms and armyworms, white grubs, spider mites, coffee bean weevil, etc.

More information about coffe pest and management is available:

Shade-grown coffee is a traditional cultivation type and now is regardes as a more beneficial one not only to coffee but also to life around coffee like birds.

For more details of shade coffee:

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