Tamil Nadu is a leading producer of jasmine in the country. Major jasmine growing districts in Southern Tamil Nadu are Madurai, Dindigul, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli and Ramanathapuram.

It is an ideal crop for small and marginal farmers, but insect pest bud worm attack poses a threat to jasmine cultivation.

Nature of damage

The larva bore into closed immature buds and feed on the inner floral structures during initial stage.

They come out through a small hole made in the buds for attacking another bud in the same shoot. In case of severe infestation, the larva makes a web like pattern among the adjacent buds and feed on petals.

Infested flowers

Infested flowers turn pale red in colour and they fall off from the plant. One larva attacks 2-3 buds in its life span.

The female moth lay the eggs singly on the unopened buds, calyx and bud stalk etc. Newly emerged larva is creamy yellow in colour whereas grown up caterpillar is greenish with pale body hairs and black head. Pupation takes place in soil and sometimes within the web also.

Adult is a small white moth with wavy lines on its wings and black colour patches on the wing margin.

Pest management

Collect and destroy infested flowers along with larvae at least once in a week.

Proper pruning and hygienic maintenance of the bushes helps to minimize the pest incidence.

Set up light trap to attract and kill the adult moths.

Spraying of neem seed kernal extract (NSKE) at 5 per cent level is found effective.

Spray any one of the follwing insecticides for controlling the pest viz., monocrotophos 36 SL at 2 ml or profenofos 50 EC at 1 ml or thiacloprid 240 SC at 1 ml per litre of water to check the pest population to minimize the economic loss.

(Dr. J. Ramkumar and Dr. R. Durai Singh, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Ramanathapuram - 623 503, E.mail: arsramnad@tnau.ac.in, Ph. No: 04567-230250)