Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Keep these important things in mind while using insecticides to save cotton crop from pink bollworm

Cotton crop is heavily damaged by pink bollworm


Cotton is one of the major cash crops of India and is cultivated the most in Maharashtra. Cotton cultivation is more labour intensive and its crop requires more care, especially from insect attacks. The pink bollworm is a major pest in cotton, which spoils its quality. It is also called pink ballworm and its scientific name Pectinophora gossypiella. Its life cycle passes through four stages. Normally, the actual outbreak of this pest starts showing only after the fruit has buds and flowers.

pink bollworm
Image Credit: tribuneindia

Effect of pink bollworm on cotton crop 

When the pink bollworm infests the cotton crop, the caterpillar attacks the flower dodi for 10 days, causing it to break and fall down. The larva or larvae do not allow the flower buds to open and remain closed, which look like a rose when viewed from a distance.

The larva of the pink larva penetrates into each mound of cotton and eats the cotton seed and after growing up comes out by making a round hole in the mound. Due to their infestation, the cotton inside the cotton becomes mottled and poor quality cotton is obtained.

Also Read: Moinuddin Siddiqui chose foreign floriculture, left advocacy and became the role model of farmers today

pink bollworm
Image Credit: ICAR


Keep these things in mind while spraying insecticides 

To save the crop from pink bollworm, it is important to keep some things in mind while spraying insecticides:

  • Use a hollow cone nozzle in the pesticide spraying pump and spray the pesticides evenly across all plants.
  • Use 200 litres of water per acre for pesticides spraying. 
  • Spraying should be done before 12 noon or in the evening only.
  • Always spray different insecticides.
  • If it rains within 24 hours after spraying the insecticides, spray the insecticides again.
  • Spraying of neem based insecticides will be more effective. 
  • The infestation of insects can also be reduced to a great extent by installing pheromone traps in the field.  
pink bollworm
Image Credit: ICAR

Keep these things in mind to save the crop from pink bollworm

  • For integrated management of any pest, it is important to understand its life cycle. Pink caterpillar completes its life cycle in four stages which are as follows, Larva: 10-14 days, Egg: 4-5 days, Pupa: 8-13 days, Adult: 15-20 days. In such a situation, to break the life cycle of pink bollworm, adopt crop rotation.
  • The cotton crop which has been affected by pink bollworm should not be stored at home or godown. Pheromone traps should be installed near the cotton mills and grain markets and the moths in it should be killed.
  • The cotton seeds kept in the counting mill should be removed from the cotton mills by the end of March. Keep the remaining seeds after treating them with sulfos.
  • Counting the cotton seeds kept for sowing by the end of March. Also, disinfect it with sulfuric acid and spread the seeds thinly and let them dry in strong sunlight for 3-4 days.
  • To monitor the effect of pink bollworm, apply 5 pheromone traps per hectare after 45 days of sowing and inspect the field in the morning and evening.
  • Collect and destroy insect-infested locusts, flowers, flower buds that have fallen down.
  • When pink or white larvae appear in 2 out of 20 moths and when 8 adult moths per pheromone trap are found in the pheromone trap for 3 consecutive days, chemical insecticides should be used. 
  • Do not collect cotton wood in the field, but cut it and mix it in the soil. 
  • Cotton should not be moved to other areas from the areas where pink larva is prevalent in cotton.
pink bollworm
Image Credit: eagri

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