Guru GyaanAgroStar Agronomy Centre of Excellence
Poison Bait for Leaf-Eating Caterpillars
Leaf-eating caterpillars and armyworms cause damage to crops such as castor, cotton, paddy, Lucerne, tobacco, vegetable nurseries, cabbage, cauliflower, various pulp crops, potatoes, bananas, wheat, maize, bajra, sorghum, groundnuts, soybeans, etc. The female moth produces eggs of about 200-300 in clusters on the lower surface of the leaves. There is a silk thread cover on the egg masses and therefore there is protection from natural enemies and also minimum effect of insecticides. Emerging larvae feed on the epidermal layer of the congregated leaves. Later, larger larvae scatter throughout the plant and also migrate to other plants. Bigger larvae are a voracious feeder and soon defoliate the crops .They can also survive in the soil and cause damage to potato tubers crops. In paddy-like crop, they may migrate from one field to another in cluster form.
If not taken care right from start, none of the insecticides can yield satisfactory results. The pupal stage is passed in the soil and therefore integrated management is not effective. It is also very difficult to control adults since they are nocturnal in nature. With these unique living habits, insecticides may not, under these circumstances, control the attraction of larvae and kill them by using a low-cost poison bait technique. Farmers are also advised to adopt this poison bait strategy to monitor leaf-eating caterpillars and armyworms. Preparation and Use of Poison Bait:  First, take rice or wheat bran about 12.5 kg and add molasses about 2.5 kg, if available. If it is not easily available, instead, use jaggery about 500 g to 1 kg. Mix it well and add chlorpyriphos 20 EC or quinalphos 25 EC of about 400-500 ml. sprinkling of water as needed. Wear hand glows and mix it well.  Now the poison bait is ready and spread it in the field near the stem in the soil surface during the evening period (dusk period). Also apply on the field boundaries.  It’s better to use the fresh poison bait. Use immediately, just after the preparation.  The leaf-eating caterpillars and armyworm get attracted toward the poison bait to the presence of molasses or jaggary. The larvae starts to die due to the stomach poison present in the bait.  If one-time use does not produce satisfactory results, repeat the same poison bait treatment after one week.  Most of the population may be controlled after using this poison bait once or twice. The left out population of caterpillars can be easily controlled by application of simple insecticides.  See that, any pets should not eat this kind of poison bait.  Birds may also get affected if they consume the poison bait unintentionally, care must be taken.  Prepare poison bait as per the need and dispose the left out material properly. If you find this information useful, click on the yellow thumbs up sign under the photo and also share this with your farmer friends using the options given below.
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