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Rice swarming caterpillars management in organic basmati rice

Rice swarming caterpillars:

It is sporadic pest causes about 20 % losses in rice yield. Adult is a stout, grayish brown moth with black spots on forewings, the hind wings are whitish brown. The eggs are laid in batches on plants and covered with grayish hair. Newly emerged larvae are green. In South India, pest is prevalent during October to December. The damage is caused by larvae both in nursery and field. The larvae feed voraciously on foliage and leave behind only the stalks of the plants. The crop looks as if grazed by cattle. The larvae migrate in large number from field to field and therefore caused as swarming caterpillars.


  • Deep plough the fields in summer to kill pupae.
  • Remove excess nurseries and weeds from the field and bunds.
  • Ensure alternate wetting and drying of the fields.
  • Avoid excess use of nitrogen.
  • Set up light traps to monitor and control population.
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