Remove and destroy affected fruits

Cultivation of high yielding varieties of pomegranate with intensive care and management in the recent past under irrigated condition led to certain severe pest problems.

Among them, infestation by Anar butterfly (fruit borer), Deudorix isocrates results in reduction of pomegranate fruit yield and heavy loss for growers. The farmers suffer loss in terms of quantity and quality of fruits.

Black excreta

Adult butterflies lay eggs at the time of fruit setting on flowers and fruits.

Larvae develop inside the fruit and these larvae bore out of the fruits.

Black excreta of caterpillars are commonly seen on fruits.

Its damage is noticed in thirty to fifty days old fruits of pomegranate and the adults prefer thirty to fifty days old fruits for egg laying and most of the eggs are laid on the calyx portion of the individual fruits.

Maximum damage

Fourth and fifth instar larvae caused the maximum damage to fruits and total rejection of fruits is not uncommon on infestation by these insects.

The major constraint in increasing export potential is the quality of pomegranate fruit in terms of size, colour, freedom from blemishes and pesticide residue levels.

Pest management

— Application of physical barriers such as covering the thirty to fifty days old fruits with bags of butter paper in isolated and small scale.

— Removal and destruction of all the damaged fruits showing exit holes

— Clipping off calyx cup of flowers immediately after pollination will help to reduce the egg load on the fruits and damage level.

— Clipping off calyx cup immediately after pollination and two rounds of spraying with neem oil at 3 per cent also controlled pest infestation effectively.

— Two sprays of Emamectin benzoate 5 SG at the rate of 0.25 gms/lit or Spinosad 45 SC at the rate of 0.20ml/lit has recorded highest reduction in the fruit damage, with maximum benefits to the growers.

(D. N. Kambrekar, Asst prof, S.B.Kalaghatagi, Prof, Regional Agricultural Research Station, Bijapur, UAS, Dharwad, Email: kambrekardn@gmail.com, phone: 08352- 230568.)