Pigeonpea is one of the most important grain legume crops of tropical and subtropical environments.
More than 200 species of insects live and feed on pigeonpea, though relatively few cause heavy annual yield losses.
Among the important insect pests, podborer has become serious production constraint in pigeonpea.
The caterpillars destroy buds, flowers and pods. Larva feeds on pods by making holes, seen feeding with the head alone inside and rest of the body hanging out. If flowers and pods not available, larvae will feed on foliage.
Medium-sized light brown moths have a dark speck and dark area on the forewings. Hind wings are light in colour with a dark patch at the outer end.
— Summer ploughing should be done to expose the hidden stages of the pest to natural predation.
— Instal H. armigera pheromone traps at 3-4traps /acre.
— Fix bird perches with branched tree twigs to attract predatory birds for insect predation. Sow redgram mixed with pundi or local sorghum for attracting birds.
— Hand collect grownup larvae of the pod borer by manually shaking the plants and dislodging them.
— First spray can be taken up with thiodicarb 75 WP 0.6 g or profenophas 50 EC 2 ml or methomyl 40 SP 0.6 g per litre of water to control eggs.
— Second spray to be done with spraying of 5 per cent neem seed kernel extract
— Third spray to be done with viral pesticide, HaNPV at 100 LE /acre along with 0.5 per cent jaggery and 0.1 per cent boric acid.
If the infestation is severe, new insecticide molecules like 0.3 ml indoxacarb 14.5 SC or 0.1 ml spinosad 45 SC or 0.75ml navaluron 10 EC or 2.5ml chlorpyriphos 20 EC can be applied. For one hectare area around 500 litres of spray solution is recommended.
(Dr. D.N.Kambrekar, Scientist (Agricultural Entomology), Regional Agricultural Research Station, UAS Campus, Bijapur-Karnataka, email: firstname.lastname@example.org: Phone: 08352 230568.)