Worldwide distribution. Common among Pacific island countries on food legumes.
Nymphs slate grey, adults shiny brown or black. In tropics, young born alive. Overcrowding produces winged adults. Spread on the wing and on wind currents.
Damage severe if infestations early: (i) directly by sap-sucking adults and nymphs damaging shoots, pods and causing stunting (toxins are produced) or wilting, or (ii) indirectly spreading (more than 30) viruses and production of honeydew attracting sooty moulds.
Cultural control: avoid planting next to, or down-wind from infested crops; weed (especially wild legume hosts); remove infested leaves; destroy ant colonies with boiling water (or insecticides); collect and destroy debris after harvest.
Chemical control: (i) PDPs (derris, chilli, garlic, neem, pyrethrum); (ii) soap solution, horticultural or white oils (see Fact Sheet no. 56). Preserve natural enemies, avoid broad-spectrum insecticides. Only use e.g., synthetic pyrethroids to kill ants.