Leaf feeding beetles and caterpillars
Very few serious insect pests have been recorded on vanilla in India. A few species of leaf feeding caterpillars and beetles feed on leaves and tender stems.
One of the leaf eating beetles affecting vanilla cultivation is the Coleopteran, Saula ferruginous. They can cause considerable damage to vanilla leaves and are found in Wynad and Nilgiris in India. The adults cut through the leaf from the lower surface eating the entire leaf tissue, except for the thick translucent cuticle of the upper epidermis.
The caterpillar of the moth Archis sp. feeding on the vegetative shoots of vanilla is reported from Idukki, Kottayam, Ernakulum and Thrissur districts of Kerala. These are pale green larvae and are found mostly in between the shoot bud and the first leaf. They often form webs and feed within by scrapping the leaf epidermis and shoot leading to rotting of the terminal bud. The damaged leaves later become wrinkled and malformed in appearance. The disease incidence was found to be high in January and February.
Leaf feeding caterpillars and beetles can be controlled by spraying quinalphos 0.05%.
Reference:Anandaraj, M., Rema, J., Sasikumar, B. and. Suseela Bhai, R. (2005) Vanilla (extension pamphlet). Rajeev P. and Dinesh, R. (eds), Indian Institute of Spices Research. Eric Odoux and Michel Grisoni. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants- Industrial Profiles : Vanilla. CRC Press, 2011. Vanilla. Indian Spices Database By DIC, KAU. kaubic.in/spicesdatabase/Vanilla/index.html.