Pest Management :: Mulberry



  Pink mealy bug: Maconellicoccus hirsutus


  Papaya mealy bug: Paracoccus marginatus


  Leaf webber: Diaphania pulverulentalis


  Thrips: Pseudodendrothrips mori


  Termite: Odontotermes obesus


1. Pink mealybug

Type of damage

  • Nymphs and adults suck the cell sap from tender leaves and buds.
  • Nutritive value of leaves, leaf yield and plant height are drastically reduced.


  • Malformation of the apical shoots, retarded growth, wrinkling and curling of the affected leaves, become dark green in colour.
  • Leaves become pale yellow on severe infestation.
  • Affected portions become brittle.
  • Symptoms are collectively called as Tukra (Bushy top) disease


  • Cutting the affected shoots and burning
  • Spraying Fish Oil Rosin Soap (FORS) @ 40 g/l or dichlorvos 76 WSC @ 2 ml/l, (safe waiting period: 15 days)
  • Releasing Cryptolaemus montrouzieri @ 750 beetles/ha and Scymnus coccivora @ 1000 beetles/ha.

Papaya Mealy Bug

Paracoccus marginatus Williams & Granara de willink (Pseudococcidae : Hemiptera)
It is a new record, exotic in origin and seems to have been introduced into India. It is an invasive pest on wide variety of commercial crops.
Symptoms and damage

  • Apical portions are affected initially and thereafter, it spreads all over the plant affecting even woody regions
  • Malformation of affected portion due to toxin injected during feeding
  • Stunted growth of plant and yellowing of leaves
  • Sooty mould on leaves and plants due to honey dew secretions of the pest
  • Movement of ants in the vicinity which help in spread of the mealy bugs
  • Outright killing the plant in case heavy infestation

NBAII has successfully imported the three Encyrtid parasitoids viz., Acerophagus papaya, Pseudleptomastix Mexicana and Anagyrus loecki with the help of USDA-Animal and Plant Health Information Services from Puerto Rico and completed all the mandatory safety and specificity tests in the quarantine facility.
Mass production
The parasitoids can successfully be multiplied in the laboratory on Paracoccus marginatus colonies grown on potato sprouts and shoots.
Strategy for classical biological control

    • Inoculative release of the exotic parasitoids @ 500 parasitoids of each species per village in the pest infested hotspot areas; releases may be repeated if necessary
    • Conservation of the released parasitoids and naturally occurring predators like Spalgis and coccinelids by avoiding the use of chemical pesticides
    • Pest infested weeds like Parthenium, Plumeria alba and Acalypha Indica will be the valuable reservoirs of parasitoids and hence should not be destroyed or sprayed with chemical pesticides
    • Initial releases can be concentrated in mulberry plantations with heavy mealybug infestation  


    Leaf webber

    Type of damage     

    • Larvae defoliate the mulberry plants. 
    • Reduction in leaf yield.


    • Cause damage by folding the leaves and by webbing the tender shoots. 
    • Larvae web the leaves together and feed from inside on soft tissues, and skeletonize them.
    • Grown up caterpillars feed voraciously on tender leaves.
    • Apical tips are preferred for feeding, resulting in stunting.  Also, apical shoots are destroyed due to egg laying. 
    • Quality of leaf and yield is severely affected.

    Integrated management



    Days after pruning


    Flood irrigation



    Release of pupal parasitoid, Tetrastichus howardi@ 20,000 / ac.



    Release of egg parasitoid, Trichogramma chilonis @ 2cc / ac.



    Spraying of dichlorvos @ 1ml /l.



    Mechanical clipping and burning of affected shoots



    Type of damage

    • Injure the epidermal tissues of leaves and desap. 
    • Early maturity, depletion of moisture, reduction in crude protein and total sugars. 
    • Leaves become unfit to rear silkworm.


    • In early stage of infestation streaks are observed on leaves.
    • In advanced stages, the leaves become yellowish brown on maturity.


    • Spraying dichlorvos 76 WSC @ 2 ml/lit.

    Termite/White ant

    Type of damage

    • Workers of the colony cause the damage.  Termites form an earthen sheath on the stem and feed on the bark and kill the plant.
    • Drying of plants and reduction in leaf yield.
    •  Mulching with dry twigs favours the populations build up in endemic areas.
    •  More damage is seen in red loam and sandy soil.


    • Location and destruction of termite colonies by removing queen termite
    • Treatment of mounds with 50 ml chlorpyriphos 20 EC.
    • Swabbing or drenching of established plants at the base with 50 ml chlorpyriphos 20 EC.
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