Developing sustainable pest management strategies against major pests of papaya in Hawaii

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2011: $148,174.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2014
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Leyla Kaufman
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: general tree fruits


  • Crop Production: cover crops
  • Pest Management: trap crops
  • Soil Management: soil quality/health


    The overall goal of this project was to develop sustainable pest management strategies that can be used against key pests in papaya production in Hawaii. We tested three environmentally friendly products that are labeled for organic production: kaolin clay (Surround WP 50 lb/50 gallons, horticultural oil (PureSpray Green, 1%), and Beauveria bassiana (Botanigard ES, 1/2 quart/100 gallons). A total of six trials were completed at four field sites on the islands of Oahu and Hawaii. Kaolin clay was discontinued after the first year due to outbreak of mites and withe peach scale due to the applications. Botanigard was used during the second - third years of the project, but insect counts and yields for this treatment were not different from the standart practice. Botanigard was also the least cost effective treatment. The horticultural oil was, on average, the most cost effective treatment during the first and second years. The oil did not perform well in older fields that had pre-existing pests problems.

    Project objectives:

    • Examine the effectiveness of organic pesticides kaolin clay and petroleum oil against papaya pests.
    • Examine the benefits of sunn hemp living mulch as a trap crop for Thrips parvispinus.
    • Demonstrate the benefits of  strip-till sunn hemp living mulch for nematode and soil health management in a papaya orchard.
    • Disseminate research findings to papaya growers and agricultural professionals.
    • Conduct economical analysis of sustainable strategies for emerging pests of papaya in Hawaii.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.