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.