Cotton is one of the key agricultural exports in Zimbabwe. Low cotton yields in Zimbabwe are mainly due to pests and diseases among other factors. Red spider mites (RSM) can account for more than 40 % yield loss if not controlled. Control methods implemented for this pest include cultural practices, chemical control, biological control and use of biopesticides. Three aqueous plant extracts at 10 and 20 % v/v application rates, no spray and amitraz were evaluated against RSM and lady bird beetles. Dried leaves of Aloe zebrina and Melia azedarach and fruits from Capsicum annum were ground into powder and extracted by mixing them with distilled water. Extract was collected after 24 hours of mixing from sieving through filtering using a filter paper. The plant extracts had miticidal properties. The 20 % v/v application rates for A. zebrina and C. annum maintained low mite populations which were comparable to synthetic amitraz throughout the spraying period and had better seed cotton yield. Unfortunately all the three plant species reduced population of beneficial predator, lady bird beetles.
Keywords: plant extract, IPM, biopesticides, pesticidal, antifeedent