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Crop Protection :: Pepper
Pollu beetle: Longitarsus nigripennis  
Symptoms of damage:
  • Grub feeds on the growing tip, tender stem, leaf petiole, spikes and berry. 
  • Tunneling of tender stem causes drying up of the shoot.
  • The portions of the spikes tunneled by grubs turn black and cause dropping of spikes due to the subsequent rotting.
  • Grubs bore into the berries and feed on entire internal contents.
  • Exit holes could be seen on dry berries.
  • As a result of grub boring, the berries dry up and turn dark in colour.
  • They are hollow and crumble when pressed.
  • Such hollow berries are called ‘Pollu’ berries.

Leaf damage:

  • The adult beetles feed on all stages of the leaves. 
  • Most preferred one is tender leaves.
  • Due to feeding irregular holes are seen. 
  • On mature leaves, the beetle scrapes the green matter leaving the layer of upper epidermis.

Berry damage

Leaf damage

Identification of pest:
  • Female beetle scoops out shallow holes on growing bud, leaf, petiole, terminal buds, spikes and tender berries and lay eggs singly.  
  • Freshly laid eggs are yellow and turn brownish yellow.
  • Grubs: Pale yellowish in colour.
  • Pupa: Pupation takes place in the soil in an earthen cell
  • Adult: Beetle is oblong with shiny black elytra and enlarged hind femur

  • Regulation of shade in the plantation reduces the population of the pest in the field.
  • Tilling the soil at the base of the vines at regular intervals
  • Spraying quinalphos (0.05% each) during June/July and September/October or quinalphos (0.05% each) during July and Neemgold (0.6%) (neem-based insecticide) during August, September.
  • The undersides of leaves (where adults are generally seen) and spikes are to be sprayed thoroughly

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