Coffee is one of the major plantation crops mainly grown in southern states (Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu) and to a small extent in northeastern states of India. Two commercially important species of coffee viz., arabica coffee ( Coffea Arabica )and robusta coffee (Coffea canephora) are grown almost in equal ratio in about 292,000 ha in India. India produces about 282,000 tonnes of coffee annually and southern states of India contribute about 98% of the total production. Coffee is an important export commodity earns about US$200million foreign exchange annually.

Coffee plantations provide a congenial habitat to various valuable species of soil fauna, insects, birds and mammals. Of the more than hundred species of insect pests recorded on coffee, only a few listed in the table is a major pests and diseases.

Major pests of coffee and their peak incidence period in India

Sl No


Host coffee plant

Peak period


White stem borer (Xylotrechus quadripes)


April-May and



Coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Arabica & robusta



Shot-hole borer (Xylosandrus compactus)




Mealybugs (Planococcus citri & P. lilacinus)

Robusta & arabica



Green scale (Coccus viridis)

Arabica & robusta



Coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vestatrix)



Pest and Disease control measures

White stem borer

Serious pest of arabica coffee.
Infested plants show external ridges around the stem.
Affected plants also show yellowing and wilting of leaves.

Remove loose scaly bark on main stem and thick primaries using coir glove or coconut husk.
Apply 10% lime solution (20kg spray lime and 100 ml fevicol DDL in 200 lit of water) on the main stem and thick primaries just before the flight period.
Install pheromone traps in the highly infested blocks( 25 traps/Ha)

 Coffee Berry Borer

Pinhole at the tip of berries indicates presence of the pest. In severe cases of infestation two or more holes may be seen.
Severe infestation may result in heavy crop loss.

Timely and clean harvest. Use mats to prevent gleanings.
Remove off season berries and gleanings.
Dry coffee to prescribed moisture levels install broca traps(60/Ha) during the post harvest period

 Shot Hole Borer

Withered or dried branches with shot holes indicate presence of the pest. 
Attacked branches dry up fast. Terminal leaves beyond the point of attack fall off prematurely

Prune affected twigs 5 cm- 7.5 cm below the hole.

Remove and destroy all unwanted / infested suckers during summer, Maintain thin shade and good drainage

 Mealy bugs

Mealybugs attack nodes, spikes, berries, tender branches, leaves and roots leading to debilitation of the plant and crop loss. 

Ant activity noticeable on the plants affected by mealy bugs.

Control ants by dusting quinalphos 1.5% or methyl parathion 2% or malathion 5% in the base of shade trees.
Destroy ant nests, remove and destroy weeds.
Spray affected patches with quinalphos 25EC or Fenitrothion 50EC @ 300 ml each or fenthion 1000 @150 ml or 4 litres of kerosene in 200 lts of water along with 200 ml of wetting agent.
Release parasitoid Leptomastix dactylopii against P. citri or predator Cryptolaemus montrouzieri.

 Green Scale

Debilitation of older plants and death of nursery plants. Honey dew secreted by the scale forms a film on leaves and a black fungus (sooty mould) grows on it. 

Maintain optimum shade, Control Ants by dusting quinalphos 1.5 % r methyl parathion 2% or malathion 5%, Destroy ant nests, remove and destroy weeds.
Spray green scale patches with 120 ml of quinalphos 25 EC or 80 ml of fenthion 1000 or 170 ml of dimethoate 30EC or 100 ml of fenitrothion 50 EC with 200 litres of water in 200 ml of wetting agent.

 Coffee leaf rust

Yellow to orange spots on lower surface of leaves with powdery mass of uredospores. 

Severe attack results in defoliation, die- back, and debility and crop loss up to 70% if timely control measures are not taken up

Spray 0.5% Bordeaux mixture during Pre-monsoon (May- June) and Post-monsoon (Sept.- October) period Or 

Spray 0.5% Bordeaux mixture during Pre-monsoon and Bayleton 25WP @ 0.02 a.i. (160g/barrel) during post-monsoon. 

 Some of the products available for pest and disease management in Coffee

  1. White stem borer, coffee berry borer, Shoot hole borer - FMC DURMET FORCE INSECTICIDE
  2. Mealy bugs and Green Scales - MALATHION 50% E.C INSECTICIDE
  3. Coffee leaf rust - BLITOX FUNGICIDE

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