Controlling fruit sucking moths in citrus

January 01, 2015 12:39 am | Updated 12:39 am IST

Two species of fruit sucking moths — Eudocima fullonia and Eudocima materna — cause enormous damage. Since the attack takes place at the time of ripening, heavy losses result.

On an average, these moths damage 3 to 5 per cent of fruits every year. The moths are nocturnal and may be seen flying about in orchards after dusk, especially during rainy seasons.

Suck the juice

The moths pierce the ripening fruits and suck the juice, resulting in premature fruit fall, rotting and quality deterioration.

Usually a circular spot appears at the site of feeding which gives a frothy jet of fermented juice which oozes out when squeezed. Fallen and decaying fruits in the orchard are powerful factors for attracting the pest from a long distance.


Systematic destruction of the breeding sites such as wild weeds and creepers around the orchards helps to check the pest population.

Under smallscale situations, the moths can be captured by hand nets daily after sunset.

Dispose all fallen and decaying fruits which attract the moths.

Create smoke by burning dry grasses and leaves which can repel and drive away the pest.

Set up light traps and food lures (pieces of fruits) to attract adult moths.

Bag the fruits with polythene bags (300 gauge) punctured at the bottom.

Spray with carbaryl 50WP at 2gm/lit of water at the time of maturity of fruits.

Use poison bait with the mixture of malathion 50EC and fermented molasses (at1ml/lit.)


Kill the moths with a bait containing gur 1kg + vinegar 60g + malathion 50ml + water 10 litres. Wide mouthed bottles containing the bait solution should be tied to the trees at the rate of 1 bottle/10 trees when the fruits are in unripe conditions.

(Dr. J. Jayaraj, Professor and Dr. M. Kalyanasundaram Head, Department of Entomology, Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai 625 104, Phone: 0452-2422956 Extn.214, Email:

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