This research was initiated following the outbreak of Aulacaspis tubercularis in bench Maji zone with the objective to assess information about occurrence and extent of pest infestation and distribution. Informal survey was conducted first to have a better insight and identify the major pest infested areas. Accordingly, three infested Kebeles namely, Otowa chole, Kuja and Berji in Guraferda woreda were purposefully selected. Among the three districts; only the farmers in Otowa Chole were interviewed about the case. A total of 45 respondents were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires. For rating infestation level over season five mango trees were randomly selected and marked in the each Kebele. Ten leaves were randomly picked from each tree for counting the clusters of white scales formed on leaves using magnifying lens. The data collected on periodic field inspection and farmers interview were subjected to statistical analysis using SAS and SPSS software, respectively. The survey result indicated that the newly emerged pest was spread from its original infestation area to some mango growing neighboring districts and caused a significant yield reduction in mango plant. The survey also indicated that no significant control method was practiced by the farmers. Rate of infestation was influenced by interaction effect of Kebele and season. Status of pest infestation in each kebele over season showed that rate of pest infestation varied from moderate to severe. However, both the magnitude and pattern of pest infestations were not the same at all Kebeles and season. Due to poor quarantine system in the country the pest is aggressively invading the major mango producing areas of the Zone. Thus, identification of effective bio-control agents that is environmentally safe and cost effective method is highly recommended as sustainable solution to save the whole mango loss from the country.
Key words: Mango, Aulacaspis tubercularis, assessment, infestation.
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