Let’s know about unknown insect pests of cotton
Guru GyaanAgroStar Agronomy Centre of Excellence
Let’s know about unknown insect pests of cotton
 Generally farmers are aware about the insect pests that commonly attack cotton fields and the way to control them.  Sometimes, we see the pests on our crops that we have never seen or been aware of before. These pests remain in very low numbers and separate control measures are not needed.  These kinds of insect pests only appear in certain areas under favourable environments. Such pests do not cause any particular economic damage.  Such occasional pests are being controlled by insecticidal sprayings given for the regular insect pests. However, we must know information about these occasional pests.  Mirid bug, a sucking pest, is more common in the Southern states. Insects suck the cell sap from the developing bolls and as a result, bolls look like a bird’s beak. The cotton belt of Gujarat and Maharashtra is still not affected with this pest.  Leaf folder, the damage is found on plants which are grown under the shade of trees around the field. Caterpillars fold the leaves and feed inside.  Fruit sucking moth, the adult moth inserts its proboscis into the developing cotton bolls and sucks the sap. Rotting takes place due to the entry of microorganisms through the hole made by moths. The damage is more prevalent in the fields nearby the orchard.  Tea mosquito bug, this pest has been reported from the Southern states in India on cotton fields. The insects suck the juice from the developing bolls and as a result, spots appear on them. Infestation is not seen in North and Central part of India till date.  Dusky cotton bug, these insects suck the sap from the seeds in open bolls. The damage is so severe and does economic damage in the cotton crop raised for the seed production.  Flower midge (gall midge), the maggots of these insects feed on pollen present in cotton flowers and damages the developing buds. This pest is recorded from the Southern States of India. This has not spread much.  Cotton stem weevil, grub of this beetle enters into the stem and feeds inside. As a result the plant dried off. Gall is also observed on the stem near the ground level. The infestation is generally negligible and not noticeable.  Cotton shoot weevil, larva of this insect enters into the developing shoots and feeds inside. Negligible population is observed and rarely seen.  Cotton boll weevil, these insects feed on developing buds and bolls. The incidence is greater in America.  Cotton flea beetle, this pest is found at an early stage of cotton crop. They can damage leaves by making holes on them. No significant population is observed in cotton crop areas.  Flower Chafer beetles, these insects cause damage by feeding on pollen from the cotton flowers. However, a negligible population is observed in cotton.
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