Pecan tree bio-monitoring

macadamia nuts

Insecticide trials

Agricultural Entomology

Insect pests are still one of the primary threats to successful crop production and causes unacceptable economic damage annually. With many broad spectrum pesticides being de-registered for use, the establishment of more and more high-income crops, the invasion of exotic alien pests and the pressures to meet the demands of the export market, the need for research in this field is higher than ever.  

Crop production in South Africa is a large and diverse field covering a wide range of crops (established and new), and a wide range of pests and management practices. Due to a lack of capacity in the country, there are many opportunities for collaborative work with state agencies as well as private research grants and funding. As such, universities and post-graduate studies are contributing a large part of current agricultural research in SA.   

Focus is on modern applied pest management in the agricultural sector aiming towards holistic management with emphasis on sustainability and novel pest management practices.  Due to increased pressure in the export market as well as growing pesticide resistance concerns, South African pest management is moving more towards an integrated approach, with the focus shifting to alternative means of management rather than only pesticide use (Integrated Pest Management, IPM). As such there is growing interest in bio-control (biological agents and plant derived compounds) and other novel means of management which are emerging at the forefront of plant and animal health research. Pesticides are still a very important part of pest management and current focus is especially on the development of new pesticides and resistance management. 

Study group members
Postgraduate students and research titles
DeV Fourie, PhD

"Investigation of possible pyrethroid resistance development in two-spotted stinkbug, Bathycoelia distincta (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) on Macadamia in South Africa" 

Tanya Smit, MSc

"Ecological trends of fruit flies (Family: Tephritidae) on table grapes along multiple gradients of the lower Orange River, Northern Cape"

Wendy Madiope, MSc

"Use of potted cane to determine yield loss to yellow sugarcane aphid"

Damaged avocado fruit

Pesticide bio-assays

Stinkbug nymph on pistachio nuts


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531


Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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