Any animal which becomes a source of trouble or loss to human is called a pest.Among insects such pests are numerous and are of different kinds.An insect is usually called as a pest when it causes appreciable damage and loss to the crops or other belongings.The pests may be classified as major or occasional.The insects damaging standing crops cereals, fruits and other plant products of commercial importance are designated as crop pests.Those insects destroying stored grains are called store pest.Insects causing damage to household articles are called the household pests.
⚫Pest of cotton
⭐Pink boll worm-Pectinophora gossypiella
This pest causes damage to the buds,flowers and seeds.
⭐Red cotton bug-Dysdercus koenigii
This bug sucks the cell sap of green bolls and leaves.
⭐Spotted boll worm-Earias vitella,E.insulana
E-vitella is abundant in high rainfall areas,where as E-insulana abounds in areas receiving scanty rains.The caterpillars of Earias.bore into the stem portion of young seedlings and apical shoots and later eat into buds,flowers and bolls.The attacked shoots wither,droop and ultimately die.
Control:The attacked shoots and bolls should be collected and destroyed.Avoid growing lady’s finger during the off-season in the vicinity of the cotton fields.
⚫Pests of paddy
⭐Rice stem borer-Tryporyza incertulas
This pest bores into the stems of the young mature stages of paddy.
⭐Rice bug-Leptocorisa acuta
It mainly feeds on paddy but is also found feeding on millets,maize,sugarcane and some grasses The adults and nymphs feed on the milky juice of the forming grains which as a consequence become chaff.
Control:In nurseries and fields,the leaves of paddy plants containing eggs should be clipped and burnt.As the bugs feed and breed on various types of grasses,removal of such grasses from the fields will help in reducing the population.
⚫Pest of sugarcane
⭐ Sugarcane root borer-Emmalocera depressella.
This pest causes damage to the stem below the soil surface.
⭐ Sugarcane shoot borer-Chilo infuscatellus
This pest causes damage to the shoot.
⭐ Sugarcane top shoot borer-Scirpophaga nivella
The damage by the borer actually starts from the mid rib of the top leaves into which it bores and makes tiny holes.
Control: Effective control of this pest is possible only by integrating mechanical and chemical control methids.Mechanical methods include the collection and destruction of egg masses and affected top shoots and sowing of resistant varieties.
⚫Pests of vegetables
⭐Red pumpkin beetle-Raphidopalpa foveicollis
This pest causes damage to the leaves, flowers and buds of younger plants.
⭐Brinjal shoot and fruit borer-Leucinodes orbonalis
The pest starts damaging the Brinjal plant a few weeks after its transplantation.When the shoot is attacked by the caterpillar it droops and withers, finally drying up When the petioles of the leaves are bored into by the larva the leaves wither and drop.
Control: Prompt collection and destruction of the plant parts harbouring larvae help in reducing the infestation.
⚫Pest of coconut palm
Rhinoceros beetle-Oryctes rhinoceros.The adult causes infestation by feeding the young leaf fronds.They make burrows and throw out a fibrous mass.The infestation is marked by a number of holes on the fronds,when they open out.The attack results in the destruction of growing plant as a result of which the tree dies.
Control:The beetles should be destroyed by inserting specially designed hooked rod.In earlier developmental stages beetles should be destroyed by tackling the breeding places like manure pits near gardens.
⚫Pests of stored grains
⭐Rice weevil-Sitophilus Oryzae
This is a very serious major pest of stored grains in farm storage.Generally, infestation starts in grains only during storage which may lead to heat spots in the grain.The grains are hollowed and the weight is reduced.
Control:The weevil is unable to breed at a grain moisture content of 9% or less.Hence dry storage of grains can avoid infestation by the pest.
⭐Pulse beetle-Callosobruchus chinensis
It affects both in fields and in stores.The pest attacks leguminous pods in the field from where they are carried to godowns.The larvae bore into the pulses and grains.They feed and grow inside.The damaged grains are unfit for human consumption.
Control: Control can be achieved by growing suceptible crops atleast a kilometer away from storage godowns which are the main source of infestation.
⚫ Pests of household goods
It is cosmopolitan in distribution.It is commonly found living in moist warm places and among old books.It mostly attacks old books and magazines.It infects starched clothes,rayon fabrics,book labels or bindings where glue has been used.
Control:The books should not be kept in damp places.Books should be exposed to sunlight frequently.Dusting of 5% malathion has proved to be an effective control measure for heavily infested cases.