Chilli or hot pepper crop [CAPSICUM ANNUM] is one of the highly commercial crops in India and like other crops is vulnerable of many insects. All classes of insects like sucking insects, leaf, flower & fruit feeders, mites, root grubs as well as root knot nematodes. These pests cause much for the crop yields.
1. Thrips [SCIRTOTHRIPS DORSALIS]
Thrips are the sucking type of insects which infests the chill crops. The young tender leaves are sucked for the sap and results curling and folding upwards making leaves boat like appearance the leaves turn yellowish to pale green. Severe infestations may make the leaf edges turn brownish burnt like. Leaf brittling, stunted plant growth, mal formation of plant parts are common symptoms with high rate of flower deformation. Thrips also have the capacity of transmitting leaf curl mosaic virus.
Management of thrips in Chilli
2. Aphids [MYZUS PERSICAE, APHIS GOSSYPII]
Adult aphids and nymphs suck the sap from the plant leaves and growing shoots. The young growing tips die, leaves will shrink and may bend backwards. After feeding aphids secrete sugary honey like liquid on which black sooty mould develops at infested areas. Black sooty mould is formed due to the excretion from the fungi after consuming the honey dew excreted by aphids. Sooty mould may reduce the photosynthesis, leaves turn curly with reduced leaf size.
Management of Aphids - The treatments for thrips can control the aphids in chilli crop
3. Whiteflies [BEMISIA TABACI]
Whiteflies are the sucking insects which usually dwell at down side of the leaves, making leaves loose the greenness. Plants will later become weak with less photosynthetic activity and severe infestations lead to black sooty mold development on leaves minimizing the chlorophyll in the leaves. White flies are the main pests to transmit the leaf curl disease or Gemini virus from plant to plant and fields to fields.
4. Leaf feeders or Leaf eating caterpillars and Fruit borers [HELICOVERPA ARMIGERA]
Caterpillars feed on leaves at flowering stages and later the fruits are infested. The caterpillars consume the leaves leaving holes and these worms also bore in to the fruits feeding on the pulp and the developing seeds making fruits unfit for marketing.
5. Mites [Yellow Mite / Broad Mite: POLYPHAGOTARSONEMUS LATUS (TARSONEMIDAL ACARINA)]
White broad mites and red spider mites are two species of mites which infest the chilli crop and exclusively suck the sap on the lower surface of the leaves making leaves brittle and roll downward. Finally leaves looks like cup shaped and under surface of leaves become shiny with dark green coloured leaves. Drying of growth tips, bud shedding and defoliation of leaves is observed at severe infestations.
6. Mealy bugs: Phenacoccus sp, Ferrisa sp and Maconellicoccus sp
Mealy bugs are also common sucking pests in chilli crop. Mealy bugs are found in clusters under surface of the leaves with waxy secretion. Sooty mould is also noticed in the plants with mealy bug infested plants. Plants become weak and yields will be reduced if not managed.
7. Root Knot nematodes [MELOIDOGYNE INCOGNITA] in Chilli
Nematodes are microscopic organisms which enters in to the roots and be feeding on the nutrients present and absorbed by the roots. The roots develop the root knots or lesions and these are the dwelling places of nematodes. Plants slowly turns pale yellow, whiter and finally will be killed.
8. Root grubs in Chilli [HOLOTRICHIA SERRATA (MELANONTHINAE)]
Root grubs damage the roots by feeding and plants will be wilted. Second instar larvae actively feed on the young roots.
Management of Root grubs and Root knot Nematodes
a. Drenching for individual plants 100 to 150 mL of following mixtures at 15 days interval will kill root grubs and Nematodes.
c. Biological agents like Multiplex Saferoot about 5 kg per acre, PMDC and Agrinematode about lit per acre may be applied to the soil during basal soil application mixed with well rotten farm yard manure or compost.
e. Soil application of biological insecticide mulitiplex soldier may be added to the problematic soils with root grubs and chafers.
Next Blog ----- Diseases of chilli and their management.
K SANJEEVA REDDY,
Senior Agronomist, BigHaat.
For more information kindly call on 8050797979 or give missed call on 180030002434 during office hours 10 AM to 5 PM
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