Cacao swollen shoot virus is primarily transmitted by different species of mealybugs that feed on the sap of cacao trees.
Female adult mealybugs can crawl across branches of overlapping trees and spread the virus. Although, even relatively distant trees are in danger of infection; ants are attracted to honeydew secretions produced by feeding mealybug and can move the mealybugs great distances. Once infected, trees are usually killed within several years.
Symptoms are diverse and will vary from one cacao variety to another. They can include discoloration of foliage, reddening of young leaf veins, chlorosis, small distorted pods, swelling of stems, and die back.
Eradication of infected trees is the most widely used means of control. Alternative hosts, such as Cola gigantea, must be removed from the field.
Chemical controls can be used to suppress mealybug vectors. High populations of mealybugs are correlated with high infection rates.
The following are generic names of products used in one or more parts of the world: imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, acetamiprid, thiachloprid, sulfoxaflor, dichlorvos, spirotetramat, buprofezine, chlorpyrifos, and synthetic terepenes extract of chenopodium.
Neem oil, tea-tree oil, mineral oil and detergents\soaps designed especially for agricultural usage.