Ephestia Cautella, The Enemy Of Cocoa Beans In Savings

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PLANTATION NEWS – Cocoa is a commodity that requires a long process before it can be enjoyed. Usually, cocoa harvested from the field then undergoes a drying and fermenting process. Before processing, cocoa is stored for some time in the storage room in the form of dry beans. One of the insects known to damage cocoa beans in storage is Ephestia cautella.

These insects live on cocoa beans and cause the cocoa beans to stick together or stick together. This of course damages the cocoa beans and reduces the quality of the beans. E. cautella is an insect from the Order Lepidoptera with the morphological characteristics of the forewings with light colored lines. After copulation, the moths lay eggs that stick to the stored seeds. Within 3 days, the eggs hatch and eat the seeds, causing the seeds to spoil and release bite-marks on the seeds.

Some ways that can be done to avoid the presence of these pests are:

1. Keeping the warehouse environment clean

2. Using thick packaging

3. Arrangement of commodity storage so as to get good air exposure and circulation

4. Regulating the entry and exit of commodities and regular monitoring using light traps or pheromone traps.

Research Institute for Industrial Crops and Freshener (Balittri) has conducted research on several plant extracts in controlling these pests. From the research conducted, it was found that A. sativum tuber extract had a high percentage of resistance and insecticidal to E. cautella larvae. The leaf extract of Ageratum conyzoides (bandotan) had the highest percentage of resistance but was not insecticidal against E. cautella larvae. On the other hand, Azadirachta indica (neem) seed extract is strong insecticidal, but the percentage of repellency is still low. Bandotan, neem and garlic have the potential to be used as protective material for cocoa beans from E. cautella larvae infestation in storage. (Anjas)

Source: Indonesian Industrial & Bevarages Crops Research Institute

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