Shoot and fruit borer, is the most destructive pest of brinjal.
The larva of brinjal shoot and fruit borer burrows into the petioles and tender shoots. It results in drooping of leaves and shedding of flower buds.
Severe damage is mainly caused to the developing fruits by the caterpillars as they tunnel inside the fruits.
A single caterpillar may destroy as many as 4-6 fruits. Damaged fruits show circular exit holes.
The entry holes on the brinjal fruit can also be seen plugged with excreta thus making the fruits unfit for consumption and marketing.
The pest is active all through the year in places having moderate climate. The moth is a medium sized adult with brown and red markings on the forewings.
Female moth lays about 250 eggs singly on tender shoots and developing fruits of brinjal.
The caterpillar is pink in colour and covered with sparsely distributed hairs all over the body.
Fully grown larva measures about 20 mm long and pupates in a tough silken cocoon on the plant itself. Entire life cycle is completed in 3-6 weeks.
There are five overlapping generations in a year. Grow less susceptible varieties such as pusa purple round, brinjal long green, pusa purple cluster, brinjal round white and annamalai.
Continuous cropping or ratooning may be avoided. Adjust the time of planting by transplanting up to 4th week of June. Dip the roots of the seedlings for 3 hours in imidacloprid solution prepared at 1ml/lit before transplanting.
Carry out shoot clipping operation at weekly interval. Collect and destroy affected shoots and fruits.
Apply neem cake at 250kg/ha at 30 days after transplanting. Keep pheromone traps at 12 nos./ha
Spray azadirachtin 0.03 per cent profenophos 0.05 per cent or carbaryl 50WP at 2g/lit starting from one month after transplanting at 15 days interval.
Soil application of carbofuran 3G at 30kg/ha 10 days after transplanting is also very effective. Cultivation of brinjal under protected cultivation (net house condition) is found to reduce the incidence of shoot and fruit borer.
& S. Manisegaran
Agricultural College and Research Institute Madurai