Major Insect-Pest Of Cotton

Entomology General Agriculture IGKV CET JRF

Major Insect-Pest Of Cotton

  1. Cotton jassid: Amrasca biguttula

F:Cicadelidae  O: Hemiptera.

  • Destructive pest of American cotton
  • Nymphs – wedge shaped
  • Adults – winged form.


  • Adult and nymph cause injury to crop because of loss of sap and probably also due to the injection of toxins.
  • Yellowing and downward rolling/cupping of leaves .
  1. Cotton whitefly: Bemisia tabaci

F:Aleyrodidae    O: Hemiptera

  • The pale yellow body is slightly dusted with a white waxy powder.
  • They have two pairs of pure white wings and have prominent long hind wings.

Symptoms: damage done by two types.

  • The vitality of the plants is lowered through the loss of cell sap.
  • The normal photosynthesis is interfered  due to the growth of a sooty mould on the honey dew excreted by the insects.
  •  It transmit a number of viral disease including the leaf curl disease of tobacco, vein curling disease of okra and leaf curl of sesame.


  •  Jassids and whiteflies can be effectively managed by spraying of Imidacloprid 200 SL @ 75 g a.i. /ha or Thiomethoxam @ 45 g a.i. /ha. 
  • Spray of Dimethoate @ 1 ml/liter of water

Major Insect-Pest Of Cotton

  1. Pink boll worm: Pectinophora gossypiella

F:Gelechidae  O:Lepidoptera

  • Most destructive pest of cotton.
  • The caterpillars are pink in colour and found inside the flower buds, panicles and the bolls of cotton.


  • Damage done by caterpillar in various ways there is excessive shedding of the fruiting bodies.
  • “Rosette flower” is characteristic symptoms.(IARI, Ph. D-09)
  •  Total shedding is caused by all the boll worms.
  • Double seed formation: The two adjoining seed are joining together within damaged boll by pink boll worm.
  1. Spotted boll worm: Earias insulenalvitella

       F:Noctuidae O: Lepidoptera.

  • It is serious pest of cotton and okra.
  • A series of longitudinally black spots on the body  with dull green colour
  • and having tiny stout bristles are the main identification mark of spotted boll worm.


  • Cause heavy shedding of fruiting bodies.
  • ‘Flare square’ (Flare-up) is characteristic symptoms. (JRF-07)
  • Attacked bolls the lint is spoiled cause of  larval feeding.
  • The infected bolls open prematurely and produce poor lint resulting in lower market values


  • Growing of Bt. cotton varieties is the effective method for boll worm complex.
  • Destruction of cotton sprouts, alternative host plants or burning of the plant debris.
  • Deep ploughing (with furrow turning plough) done by the end of February.
  • Larval: Parasitoid Bracon greeni, Chelonus pectinophorae.

Other pests of cotton:

1.Dusky cotton bug: Oxycarenus laetus

F:Lycaenidae  O: Hemiptera.

2.Red cotton bug: Dysdercus singulatus

F:Pyrrhocoridae O: Hemiptera.

  • Effected quality of lint.

3.American boll worm: Helicoverpa armigera

F:Noctuidae   O: Lepidoptera.

4.Cotton leaf roller: Sylepta derogata

  F:Pyralidae  O: Lepidoptera.

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