Insect pests of Mustard

Mustard is a most important oil seed crop which is cultivated as Rabi crop. One of the major concern in stabilizing the yield of mustard is incidence of insects which are causing damage to crop at different stages and responsible for huge yield losses.For the protection of crop, proper identification and management of crop should be adopted.

Major pests of Mustard are:-



 1.  Diamondback moth: Plutella xylostella  diamondback moth
 2.  Larger moth (Leaf webber): Crocidolomia binotalis  larger moth
 3.  Mustard saw fly: Athalialugens proxima  mustard saw fly
 4.  Cabbage head borer: Hellula undalis  cabbage head borer
 5.  Leaf miner: Chromatomyia horticola  mustard leaf miner
 6.  Mustard aphid: Lipaphis erysimi  mustard alphid
 7.  Painted bug: Bargrada hilaris (cruciferarum)  painted bug


Integrated Insect Management

  • Timely sowing of the crop before 15th October helps to escape infestation of mustard aphid.
  • Apply balanced dosages of fertilizers i.e. (NPK-100:40:40). As application of only nitrogenous fertilizers makes the crop vulnerable to aphids.
  • Seed treatment with Imidacloprid 70 WS @ 5.0 g/kg of seed should be done for management of painted bug and other insects during early stage of crop.
  • Plough the field in summer season and follow the clean cultivation by weeding, hoeing and burning of debris in and around the field.
  • Pluck and destroy the infested twigs or dip them in kerosenised/ insecticide treated solution from the border rows by  2-3 times at 10 days interval is very functional to avoid the further increase of insects  in the crop season.
  • Foliar application of insecticides such as Oxy-demeton methyl (Metasystox) 25 EC or Dimethoate (Rogar) 30 EC @ 1 ml/ litre of water is done when 26-28 aphids/plant is observed.
  • If the pest populace builds up again, insecticidal spray can be repeated at 15 days interval or  5% neem seed kernel extract (NSKE) and  2%  neem oil sprays are also effective to manage mustard insects.
  • In case in severe infestation spray the crop with Endosulfan 35 EC, Phasphamidan 85SL, Quinolphos 25 EC, Malathion 50 EC @ 1-1.5 ml/ litre of water.
  • In ecofriendly management Verticillium lecani @108 CS/ml of water in combination with 5 % NSKE, 2% neem oil is effective in reduction of aphid population.
  • Spraying should be done in the afternoon for avoidance of toxicity to pollinators.
  • Thresh the crop as early as possible to avoid the further losses and dispose off infected plant debris immediately.


  • TamilNadu Agritech Portal.

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