Advisory ArticleAgroStar Agronomy Centre of Excellence
Know about Insect Pests of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants
 Farmers cultivate medicinal and aromatic crops such as, isabgol, senna, asaliyo (cress), kalmegh, ashwagandha, safed musli, dodi, etc. throughout the country.  There are several insect pests damaging these crop at any stage.  Aphids: Suck the cell sap from developing shoots and under surface of the leaves. Photosynthetic activity of plant is hindered. Isabgol is more susceptible to this pest.  Jassids: Nymph & adult both suck the sap from leaves and soft parts of the plants. As a result, boarder of leaves turn yellowish and curled up and appear cup-shaped.  Whitefly: Nymphs & adults both suck the cell sap from the leaves.  Thrips: Insects lacerate the leaf surface and suck the oozing materials. White strips occur on leaf surface. Leaves become coarse and thicken. Population increases, if period between irrigation is extended.  Mites: Suck the cell sap by remaining on the lower surface of the leaves. White spots appear on leaves. Leaves appear sickly and hinder the plant growth.  Mealy bugs: Suck the sap from the under surface of the leaves, shoots, buds, flowers, pods and stem. Leaves become de-shaped.  Psylla: Suck the sap from the newly emerged leaves, buds and developing delicate shoots. As a result, infested parts turn yellowing and wilting.  Diamond backmoth: Larvae feed on medicinal plants such as asaliyo and harm the crop.  Helicoverpa: Damage due to this caterpillar is seen much more in kalmegh medicinal plant.  Leaf miner: Emerging larvae enter into the leaf and feed in-side. Larvae make zigzag galleries on the leaf and damage.  Leaf-eating caterpillars: Caterpillars feed on leaves, flowers, and developing buds.  Termites: The worker of termites feed on root system of the plants and plants dry off.  Catopsilla: The caterpillars of this insect are mostly found damaging to senna, a medicinal crop.  For the control of such insect pests, spray botanical or biopesticides looking to the residues of chemical insecticides.
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