Agriculture

Controlling jumping lice in curry leaf

Jumping plant lice is the most destructive sucking pest of curry leaf.

This insect is active throughout the year and breeds from March to November. Adults are found under the leaf surface and hop out when slightly disturbed.

Type of injury

The damage is caused mostly by nymphs than the adults. Leaf curling, defoliation and death of shoots may result from the attack.

The bugs also inject certain toxins along with saliva which cause drying and death of branches.

Besides they excrete honey dews resulting in the superficial black coating on the leaves.

The damage is so long lasting that the branches look sickly and the vitality of the plants deteriorates. The plant stops growing.

Pest biology

Adults are brownish bugs, measuring about 2 to 3 mm long. Eggs are laid in tender shoots and leaves.

About 800 orange coloured eggs are laid in the folds of half opened leaves. They hatch into nymphs in three to five days and appear flat, circular and yellowish.

Nymphal period ranges from 9 to12 days. Adults may live for about six months during winter. They are eight to nine overlapping generations in a year.

Control methods

Since fresh curry leaves are directly used as condiment, much care should be taken while treating with toxic pesticides. Further it is advisable to use less poisonous materials as far as possible.

— Prune and destroy bug infested twigs.

— Light and sticky traps may be fixed to capture the adults. Dusting of cow dung ash is an organic way.

— Several species of ladybird beetles predate upon the nymphs.

— Use of Beauveria bassiana formulation is a safe bio control method.

— Spraying of botanicals such as 5 per cent Neem seed kernel extract or 0.03 per cent azadirachtin is an ecofriendly method.

— Application of fish oil rosin soap at one part in 25 parts of water will be highly effective against this sucking pest.

— In case of severe infestation, insecticides such as malathion 0.05 per cent, carbaryl 0.1 per cent, acephate 75SP at1g/lit, triazophos 50EC at 2.5ml/lit should be sprayed.

Jayaraj & Manisegaran,

Agricultural College and Research InstituteMadurai

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 5:06:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/agriculture/controlling-jumping-lice-in-curry-leaf/article2995636.ece

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