Capsicum being relatively long duration 9-10 months crop in polyhouse, the plant parts are more exposed to adverse effect on the yield, quality and market value of the produce. Hence their identification and management at right stage of the crop should be given importance. The major pests and diseases, their symptoms and their management in capsicum are given below. The major focus has been given on adoption of integrated approach in managing pests and diseases, that help to reduce the pesticide load, cost of chemicals and avoid the resurgence of pests and diseases.
Symptoms: Thrips cause upward curling of leaves, sucks sap and reduce leaf growth, plant growth, yield and market value of produce. It also reduces leaf area and hinders absorption of nutrients and water by the plants. Increased infestation leads to blackening and drying of leaves and irregular fruit bearing.
Management: Remove affected plant parts including leaves, flowers and fruits. Keep the plots clean by removing all the dropped plant parts. Spray Pongamia oil (5-8 ml/L) or Neem seeds kernel extract or Pongamia / Neem soap or fipronil (1ml/L) or acephate (1.5g/L) or Imidacloprid (0.5ml/L). Drenching of soil using chloropyriphos (4ml/L) .
Symptoms: Young larvae and adults feed on leaves, bud and fruits, suck sap from plant parts which in turn causes downward curling of leaves. The size of leaf, fruit and plants gets reduced, fruit and flower 13 drop affecting the market value of the produce. This pest infestation increases with increased temperature coupled with high humidity.
Management: Remove the pest damaged plant parts including leaves, flowers and fruits and spray Pongamia oil (5-8 ml/L) or Pongamia / Neem soap (8-10 g/L) or dicofol (2ml/L) or wettable sulphur (2ml/L) or abamectin (0.5ml/Ll) or ecomite or chlorophenapyr (1ml/ L)
Symptoms: Nymphs and adult aphids suck sap from leaf veins and younger leaves resulting in reduced plant growth and decrease in yield. Its infestation not only causes curling of leaves but also spreads viral diseases.
Management: Keep a close watch on the plants at regular intervals for aphids’ infestation. Spray Pongamia / Neem soap (8-10 g/L) or imidacloprid (0.5ml/L) or thiomethoxam (0.5g/L) or dimethoate (2ml/L).
Symptoms: Fruit borers are very active during night. The adults lay eggs on fruits, flowers and leaves in large number and the nymphs that 14 come out of eggs, feed on fruits and leaves causing heavy destruction of crops and severely affects the quality of the produce. Whenever night temperature is low, coupled with cool and high humidity the infestation is increased. Since eggs are laid in group, the larva also feeds gregariously on leaves at one place, which can be easily identified and destroyed.
Management: Pick and destroy nymphs and adult insects. Generally eggs are laid and hatch in groups, which is easy to identify from a distance. Hence they should be identified and destroyed immediately. Spray thiodicarb (1ml/L) or carbaryl (3g/L) or indoxcarb (1ml/L) fipronil (1ml/L). In addition to the sprays, grownup adults should be subjected to methomyl baiting, which is a safe, healthy and effective practice.
Symptoms: Nematodes are commonly seen in solanaceous crops when grown 3-4 times continuously in the same field. Initially yellowing of leaves can be observed followed by reduction in leaf size, count and 15 drastic reduction in size of fruits. When infected plant is uprooted and observed, small and big nodes filled with large number of nematodes nodules can be observed on roots depending on the level of infestation.
Management: Go for crop rotation with non-solanaceous crops like marigold, sweet corn and cabbage to avoid nematode. Bio-pesticides enriched Neem cake (as explained earlier) is to be applied @ 800 kg/ acre 4-5 days before transplanting to the beds. Apply carbofuran (furadan) granules @ 20kg /acre at the time of planting. Keep a close watch on nematode infestation of the plants, particularly in 2nd and 3rd crop. The insecticides should always be mixed with spreader or sticker while spraying. The plants from top to bottom should come in contact with spray for better result and care should be taken to compulsorily cover the entire body with full clothes, mask, gloves and aprons while spraying.
Symptoms : Infection takes place at the base of the young seedlings just above the ground level which leads to wilting and 16 later death of seedlings. Any damage caused to seedlings while transplanting can also lead to damping off or seedling wilt besides fresh infection in main field or infection that is carried from nursery.
Management: Drench carbendazim (1g/L) or metalaxyl MZ (2g/L) or copper oxychloride (3g/L) or captan (3g/L) drenched to the base of the plant at about 25-50 ml/plant.
Symptoms: The disease initially appears as tiny yellow spots on surface of leaf and powder like material on the lower surface leading to a powdery growth covering the entire lower surface of leaf which leads to drying and dropping of leaves at later stages. The disease reduces growth of leaves and fruits leading to low quality and quantity of the produce.
Management: Spray Pongamia /Neem oil (7ml/L) + sulphur WDG-80 (2g/L) or wettable sulphur (2g/L) or penconazole (0.5ml/L) or flusilazole (0.5ml/L).
Cercospora leaf spot
Symptoms : Cercospora appears initially as tiny yellow spot on leaf surface leading to increased dark grey spots which spreads on entire leaf resulting in dropping of leaf.
Management: Spray chlorothalonil (2.5g/L) or mancozeb (2.5g/L) or carbendazim (1g/L).
Symptoms: This disease appears during fruiting and flowering stage resulting in tiny oil like spot on leaf surface resulting in rottening and blackening of plants. Later plant weakens and dies in 2-3 days. Heavy and continuous rainfalls coupled with high humidity favour 18 disease appearance and its quick spread. Phythopthera disease is relatively more severe in net houses which may lead to 40-80 per cent crop damage.
Management: Spray copper hydroxy chloride (3g/L) or bordeaux mixture (1%) or metalaxyl MZ (2g/L) or azoxystrobin (0.5ml/L). Severely infected plant parts should be destroyed. It is better to avoid capsicum cultivation in severely affected net-houses.
Symptoms: Viral diseases are transmitted through aphids and thrips leading to upward and downward curling of leaves with yellow spot in the middle of leaf and sometimes on fruit also. Heavy infestation leads to dropping up of leaves, stunted plant growth and reduces quality and quantity of fruits. Virus affected fruits are unmarketable.
Management: Grow nursery beds under nylon cover (50 mesh), proper management of aphids, mites and thrips which acts as disease transmitting vectors and disposal of diseased/infected plants, control infestations of viral diseases.
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