Pests on Chillies, Turmeric and Ginger



Chilli thrips Scirtothrips dorsalis (Thripidae: Thysanoptera)

  • Thrips cause severe damage in areas where chilli is cultivated as a dry crop.
  • It also attacks on tea, acacia, prosopis, castor, cotton, mango, onion, groundnut, pomegranate, pulses, brinjal grape vine, Citrus sp. and numerous weeds. 
  • Both nymphs and adults lacerate leaf tissues and imbibe oozing sap. 
  • They prefer tender leaves and growing parts of shoots.
  • The infested leaves develop crinkles and curl upward and ultimately shed whereas, buds become brittle and drop drown.
  • Severely infested plants develop bronze colour. 
  • If affected at the early stage, plants remain stunted in growth and flower production and pod set arrested. 
  • They also transmit leaf curl disease. The yield loss varies from 25-50 per cent. 
  • Adults lay minute or dirty white eggs on or just under the leaf tissues.
  • Both nymphs and adults are tiny, slender fragile and yellowish straw in colour. Adults are with heavily fringed wings and uniformly grey in colour. 
  • They reproduce sexually and parthenogenetically.

Green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Aphididae: Hemiptera)

  • It is a cosmopolitan pest attacking several wild and cultivated plants. 
  • Brinjal, chilli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, potato, sugar beet, tobacco, papaya, peach, pear tomato, cucurbits, amaranthus, spinach and lettuce are important host plants. 
  • Infested plants turn pale and look sickly in appearance. 
  • Leaves curl and drop. When the intensity is high, plants become stunted and sooty mould develops on the honey dew excretion of aphids.  
  • Aphids settle down on the upper and lower surfaces of leaves, apical shoots, flowers, flower buds and young fruits and suck the sap. 

Cow bug Tricenturs bicolor (Membracidae: Hemiptera)

  • Both nymphs and adults suck the plant sap and exude honeydew, which attracts black ant. 
  • Adults are black Males are darker and more active. 
  • Bhendi, Cereals, cotton, brinjal, potato, tomato, various fruit trees and wild grasses are alternate hosts 

Chillies muranai mite Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Tarsonemidae: Acarina). 

  • Responsible for murda disease.
  • Mites are also called as yellow mite, yellow tea mite or white mite. 
  • Damage is usually severe in summer months, which coincides with  flowering season. 
  • Tea, potato, cotton, jute, pulses, brinjal, cluster bean, gingelly, chrysanthemum and dahlia are the alternate host plants for the mites.
  • Nymphs and adults desap in large numbers from the undersurface of leaves, near veins and vein lets. Infested tender leaves become narrow, lean and lanky with lateral downward folding, turn pale, undersized, and become cluster at tip of branches. 
  • Petioles of the lower leaves become extremely elongated with narrow lamina and exhibits “rat-tail” symptom. 
  • Leaves turn rough and brittle and hence called as murda disease. 
  • Infested plants are stunted. 
  • Buds become distorted or turn phylloid (leafy), dropped. Plants are with poor pod set and undersized pods. 
  • Mites are minute (0.2-0.4 mm) and do not form webs. Body is broad, faint-yellow or white in colour. They are spread by wind, phoretic insects and through contact with plant surface.

Cotton aphid Aphis gossypii (Aphididae: Hemiptera)

Tobacco cutworm Spodoptera litura (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera)

lucerne caterpillar Spodoptera exigua (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera)

Gram caterpillar Helicoverpa armigera  (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera)

Brinjal stem borer Euzophera perticella  (Phycitidae: Lepidoptera) 

Whitefly Bemisia Tabaci  (Aleyrodidae: Hemiptera)

Mealy bug Ferrisia virgata (Pseudococcidae: Hemiptera)

Scale Aspidiotus destructor (Diaspididae: Hemiptera)

Capsid bug Disphinctus sp. (Capsidae: Hemiptera)

White grubs Holotrichia consanguinea (Melolonthidae: Coeloptera 

Gall midge Asphondylia capsici (Cecidomyiidae: Diptera) 


Rhizome scale Aspidiotus hartii  (Diaspididae: Hemiptera)

  • This is one of the important pests infesting the ginger and turmeric both in filed and in storage (of seed rhizomes).  
  • White coloured scales are seen scattered on rhizomes and latter they congregate near growing buds. Rhizome and buds shrivel and dries.
  • Adult is minute, apterous, circular, light brownish to grey. Crawlers emerge from eggs are seen huddled near mother scale and starts feeding by sucking. 

Leaf roller Udaspes folus (Hesperiidae: Lepidoptera)

  • It is an important foliage and often causes extensive damage by defoliation. 
  • Alternate hosts are arrowroot, ginger, cardamom and wild lilies. 
  • Smooth green larva with black head feeds within leaf folds and pupates inside the same leaf fold in a thick mass of white waxy stuff.  Big head is attached to a neck like or constricted ‘collar’.
  • Adult is a brownish black butterfly with eight white spots of different sizes on each fore wing and a large white patch on each hind wing. 

Shoot borer/castor capsule borer Conogethes punctiferalis (Pyraustidae: Lepidoptera)

  • Caterpillar gnaws base of the growing bud resulting in dead hearts or withered and dried shoots. Caterpillars are found feeding on rhizomes, leading to poor quality rhizomes. Larva is long, pale greenish.
  • Exit holes on pseudostem, through which frass and excreta are thrown out and found near the base of the affected plants. 
  • Adult is medium sized, pale yellowish with black spots on wings.

Rhizome maggots Formosina flavipes (Chloropidae); Chalcidomyia atricornis (Chloropidae) ; Eumerus albifrons (Syrphidae); Mimegralla coeruleifrons (Micropezidae); Calobata sp. (Micropezidae); Celyphus sp. (Celyphidae): Diptera

  • Freshly hatched maggots are found boring into rhizomes and roots and some into pseudostem. Maggots are responsible for causing the rhizome rot. 

Leaf beetle Lema praeusta,  L. signatipennis   (Chrysomelidae: Coleoptera)

  • Both adults and grubs feed on leaf. cucurbits and sorghum are the alternate hosts. 

Thrips Panchaetothrips indicus (Thripidae: Thysanoptera)

  • Infested leaves become rolled up, turn pale and gradually dry up. 

Lace wing bug    Stephanitis typicus  (Tingidae: Hemiptera

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