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Under mechanical control of chickpea pests, especially the pod borer, Helicoverpa armigera and cutworm, Agrotis ypsilon, larvae can be managed by manual hand picking, trapping with coiled dry grasses and pit fall method, whereas,  adult moths can be trapped with various traps. Light traps and pheromone trap can be used effectively to monitor the presence of pest as well as to reduce the carryover of next generation, consequently, reduction in pest population.

Manual Hand Picking:

Pod borer caterpillars of 3rd instar and onwards can easily be picked-up from foliage and developing pods and killed by hitting with blocks or putting them into insecticide mixed water solution. These methods are very effective but labor extensive.

Trapping with Coiled Dry Grasses:

Caterpillars of cutworm are nocturnal in habit and hide themself inside the cracks and debris in the field. Keep the coil of dry grasses at several places in the field at evening hours of the day. Collect them in next morning and burn. Caterpillars prefer these coiled grasses as hiding place.

Pit Fall Method:

Caterpillars of both pod borer and cut worm are cannibalistic in habit. Make cylindrical pits of 6 inch deep at several places in the field. Several crawling larvae may fall in these pits and eat the weaker ones so reduce the population themselves.

Light trap:

Gram pod borer and cutworm both belong to the family Noctuidae and are photopositive. They are attracted by the light. Light trap can be used successfully for trapping them as well as killing with insecticide such as malathion, endoslfan or calcium cyanide.

Example: Ultra Violet Light trap, Florescent Light Trap

Pheromone trap:

Usually sex pheromones are used for trapping the adult insects. These are species specific attracts and the male moth only. Pheromone impregnated rubber septa is used in the trap which is replaced at fortnightly interval for continuous trapping.

Example: Heli Lure, use 4 - 5 traps/ ha for monitoring of Helicoverpa.

Both types of traps can be used either monitoring the pest population, predicting the injury level followed by spraying of insecticide including botanicals, microbial and chemical or directly killing the pest. Pheromone traps can also be used for matting disruption.

Mechanical methods of pest control are effective tools under integrated pest management programme. It can be used either preventive as well as curative method of pests control but it is not much effective as a sole method of pest control.









Light Trap










Cannibalism in H. armigera


Pheromone Trap


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I have to figure out a way to

I have to figure out a way to build a light trap for to round ... these are 2 of 3 holes in my cab. the problem one is a 4" but is good.

UV- lamp (Mercury light) for insect trapping

Cobs are mainly attacked by Helicoverpa zea. The caterpillar (larva/worm) feeds on developing cobs by making holes of bigger size. It feeds on the developing grain and reduces the yield as well as aesthetic value of the produce. Light traps actually catch the moths (adults) of these insects which are nocturnal in habitat and attracted by light, specially the ultra-violate light.

Though readymade light traps are available in the shops of agricultural goods but one can create it, own self. Hang the UV- lamp (Mercury light) in open field, put a water filled tub beneath the lamp on the ground. Add some kerosene oil or insecticide in the water so that insects fallen into the tub will die. Number of these light traps in an area depends upon the intensity of light. It varies from 5-10 per hectare.

Remember that light trap do not provide immediate control because it kill the adults only, which lay the eggs in the field consequently reduce the carryover of next generation. So results are visible only after some time, may be a week. Important thing is that caterpillars can't migrate from one field to another field. So light traps are very useful for this insect in maize field.