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Crop: Pepper
Scientific Name: Piper longum
Family: Piperacea
Pollu beetle: Longitarsus nigripennis  
Symptoms of damage:
  • Grub feeds on the growing tip, tender stem, leaf petiole, spikes and berry. 
  • Tunneling of tender stem causes drying up of the shoot.
  • The portions of the spikes tunneled by grubs turn black and cause dropping of spikes due to the subsequent rotting.
  • Grubs bore into the berries and feed on entire internal contents.
  • Exit holes could be seen on dry berries.
  • As a result of grub boring, the berries dry up and turn dark in colour.
  • They are hollow and crumble when pressed.
  • Such hollow berries are called ‘Pollu’ berries.

Leaf damage:

  • The adult beetles feed on all stages of the leaves. 
  • Most preferred one is tender leaves.
  • Due to feeding irregular holes are seen. 
  • On mature leaves, the beetle scrapes the green matter leaving the layer of upper epidermis.

Berry damage

Leaf damage

Identification of pest:
  • Female beetle scoops out shallow holes on growing bud, leaf, petiole, terminal buds, spikes and tender berries and lay eggs singly.  
  • Freshly laid eggs are yellow and turn brownish yellow.
  • Grubs: Pale yellowish in colour.
  • Pupa: Pupation takes place in the soil in an earthen cell
  • Adult: Beetle is oblong with shiny black elytra and enlarged hind femur

  • Regulation of shade in the plantation reduces the population of the pest in the field.
  • Tilling the soil at the base of the vines at regular intervals and application of lindane dust to the soil will kill the purpose.
  • Spraying quinalphos (0.05% each) during June/July and September/October or quinalphos (0.05% each) during July and Neemgold (0.6%) (neem-based insecticide) during August, September.
  • The undersides of leaves (where adults are generally seen) and spikes are to be sprayed thoroughly
Top shoot borer: Laspeyresia hemidoxa
Symptoms of damage:
  • Larvae bore into tender terminal shoots and feed on internal tissues resulting in blackening and decaying of affected shoots.
  • The pest infestation is higher during July to October when numerous succulent shoots are available in the vines


Identification of pest:
  • Larva: The full grown caterpillar is greyish green in colour.
  • Pupa: Pupation takes place inside the shoots within the tunnel. 
  • Adult
    • It is a small moth.
    • Forewing: The basal half of is black and distal half is red. 
    • Hind wings: Greyish in colour
  • Spray quinalphos (0.05% each) on tender terminal shoots; repeat spraying at monthly intervals (during July - October) to protect emerging new shoots.
Marginal gall thrips: Liothrips karnyi

Symptoms of damage:
  • Downward and inward curling of leaves resulted in the formation of marginal leaf galls.
  • Later the infested leaves become crinkled and malformed
  • In severe cases of attack, the whole plant may become stunted, affecting adversely the formation of spikes.


Downward rolling
Identification of pest:
  • Eggs:  Laid within the marginal galls on the leaf surface singly.
  • Nymphs:  White and sluggish.
  • Adult: Black thrips.
  • Spray dimethoate (0.05%) during emergence of new flushes in young vines in the field and cuttings in the nursery.
White tailed mealy bug: Ferrisia virgata

Symptoms of damage:
  • Mealy bug found in cluster on the terminal shoots, leaves, berries and suck the sap
  • Yellowing, withering and drying of plants or shedding of berries.


White mealy bug on stem

Identification of pest:
  • Female is apterous with long prominent waxy filaments at the posterior end
  • Body covered with waxy powder.
  • Removal of heavily infested plant parts and the destruction will minimize the inoculam.
  • Spray dimethoate 2 ml (or) methyl parathion 1ml/lit.

Pepper mussel scale: Lepidosaphes piperis 

Symptom of Damage:

  • Infects the plant by sucking the leaf tip, leaf and stem of the suckers
  • infected parts become yellowish and later dry up

Identification of pest:

  • Lepidosaphes piperis : small, stunted with boat shaped appearance
  • Espidiotus testructar: very small insect with yellowish in colur


  • Remove and destroy the infected plant parts
  • Spray Dimethoate 0.1 % followed by one more spray on 21st day of first spray
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