Guru GyaanAgroStar Agronomy Centre of Excellence
Before castor semilooper takes on havoc; get up and take actions
• Castor crop is being cultivated as sole or intercrop with groundnut or cotton under irrigated or rain-fed conditions.
• In addition to the sucking pests, castor semilooper and leaf eating caterpillars damage the crop at vegetative stage.
• Different spots/stripes are observed on the larval body and it makes a semi-loop while crawling and hence, it’s known as “Semilooper”.
• Infestation is generally higher during September and October.
• Feeding starts from the border of the leaves and extent inward is the typical characteristics.
• Small caterpillars scrape the epidermal layer of leaves while bigger once; feed voraciously on leaves and defoliate; leaving behind only midribs, petioles, branches and stem.
• Due to its voracious feeding behavior, sometimes they also feed on spikes and capsules at later crop stages.
• In summer, they survive on Ber tree leaves.
• The adults of this caterpillar suck the juice from the various citrus fruits.
• The incidence is generally very low on crop sown after 15th August.
• Install one light trap to attract the adult moths.
• The effect of insecticide is generally very low on bigger caterpillars and hence; collecting & destroying them mechanically (hand picking & killing) is the best solution.
• If available, release Telenomus or Trichogramma; egg parasitoids in the field periodically.
• Spray Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterial base powder @ 1-1.5 kg per hectare.
• Predatory birds collect and feed on the larvae and act as an example for natural control of this pest.
• To attract the predatory birds; install bird perches @ 30-40 per hectare.
• On initiation, spray neem seed kernel suspension @ 5% (500 g per 10 lit of water) or neem leaf extract @ 10% concentration or ready to use neem based pesticides @ 20 ml (1% EC) to 40 ml (0.15% EC) per 10 lit of water.
• Apply insecticides only at ETL i.e. 4 or more than 4 larvae observed on one plant.
• As per the recent recommendation of Junagadh Agril. Uni., spray chlorantraniliprole 18.5 SC @ 3 ml or indoxacarb 14.5 SC @ 5 ml or spinosad 45 SC @ 3 ml or emamectin benzoate 5 WG @ 4 g per 10 lit of water; two times, first on initiation and second after 15 days of first spray.
Source: Agrostar Agronomy Centre of Excellence,
If you feel this information is useful to you, like and share it with your friends.