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Cotton Pests // Cotton insects are the principal cause of yield losses

Cotton insects are the principal cause of yield losses. Estimates indicate that the yield losses due to insect infections would amount to almost 15% of world annual production.

More than 1300 different species of insect pests attack the crop. Among the most common and endogenous species found in cotton fields are:

1. Bollworms
Spotted Bollworm
Egg is greenish blue. The larva of short age is creamy white and black head while large larvae has brownish & blackish spots. Female lays eggs in evening on flowers, flower buds etc of 200 – 400. It can enter into stem, also attack flower buds, balls, enter into it, eat there and secrete fesses outside. The quality of lint is destroyed. Control
Click Here To View Spotted Bollworms Biology  
Pink Bollworm
This forms double seed and hibernate there. Female lays 100-250 eggs singly or double gives on flower, flower buds. The larva enter the flower, secrete material which join flower petals and forms rossetted flowers. The infected flower cannot open and it affects the reproductive parts of flower. It also enters the bolls and closes the hole. It destroys lint. Control
Click Here To View Pink Bollworms Lifecycle  
American Bollworm
It is most destructive pest. Female lays eggs separately up to 1500. Earlier white then brown color. It has 6-7 instars. It can be controlled only up to 3 instars. Soft bolls are its prime food. It eats vigorously and makes hole greater than spotted. It is half outside & half inside. It can also eat leaves. Control
  Click Here To View American Bollworms Life Cycle  
2. WhiteFly
Adults are about 1/16 inch in length (1.5 mm), very active, snow-white, and have 4 wings crossed by 2 indistinct gray lines. Nymphs are less than 1/13 inch in length (.2 mm), immobile, pale-green in color and oval. They have fine, white, wavy threads radiating from their bodies. Both adults and nymphs feed on the undersides of the leaves, sucking out the plant juices. Whiteflies also excrete a glazed, sticky material (honeydew) on the leaves of the plant. This honeydew sometimes becomes covered with a sooty-colored fungus that can completely cover the foliage and lint. Control
  Click Here To View Whitefly's Life Cycle  
3. ArmyWorm

It was first discovered in North America in 1876. It has a wide range of host plants including vegetables and field crop. It remains active throughout the years in warm location. Development and overall abundance reduced in winter.

Larvae feed on foliage and fruit. Young larvae feed gregariously and skeletonize leaves.Bigger larvae become solitary and eat large irregular holes in foliage.The damage is found in patches in the beginning, but spread widely if not controlled. Control

There are two species of Armyworm in Pakistan
  • Spodoptera littoralis
  • Spodoptera exigua
  Click Here To View Arym Worm Identification  
4. Thrips
Adult thrips may be yellow, brown, or black, depending on the species. They are slender, pointed at both ends, about 1/25(1 mm) inch long, and have 2 pairs of fringed wings. Nymphs are very similar to the adults, but paler in color, and are wingless. Eggs, nymphs, and adults, are found together throughout the summer. Thrips feed on the leaves and terminal buds by rasping the plant tissue and sucking out the juices. This feeding results in ragged, crinkled leaves that curl upward (possum eared). Heavy feeding on seedlings gives the plants a silvery appearance. In severe infestations, the terminal buds may be killed. Control
5. Aphid
It has winged or wingless adults. One is greenish black other has brown color. Its female lays egg but it also can pathogeneses. Both adult & nymph damage secrete, sugary material on which salty mold grows. Control
6. Jassid
It is yellow green in color and nearly 3 mm long it has alternate host i.e. potato, Brinjal etc. Its population increases in July & August both adult & nymph damage Sucks Chlorophyll and plants are weakened. Control
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