Insect pests of Chickpea / Bengal Gram

Major pests of Chickpea are:-

1.Gram Pod Borer: Helicoverpa armigera

gram pod borer

Identification of the pest

  • Eggs – are spherical in shape and creamy white in colour laid singly
  • Pupa – brown in colour, occur in soil, leaf, pod and crop debris
  • Adult – light pale brownish yellow stout moth.
  • Forewing grey to pale brown with V-shaped speck.
  • Hind wings are pale smoky white with a broad blackish outer margin.

Symptoms of damage

  • Skeletinization of leaves – feeding chlorophyll only leaving veins by young larvae Defoliation
  • Feeds flower and green pods
  • In green pods – make circular holes and feed the grains and make empty.


  • ETL: 2 early instar larvae/plant 5-8 eggs/plant
  • Pheromone traps for Helicoverpa armigera 12/ha
  • Bird perches 50/ha
  • Hand picking of grown up larvae and blister beetles
  • Ha NPV 1.5 x1012 POB/ha with teepol (1 ml/lit.)
  • Apply any one of the following (Spray fluid 625 ml/ha)
  • Dichlorvos 76 WSC 625 ml/ha
  • Neem seed kernel extract 5% (31.0 kg/ha) twice followed by
  • Triazophos 40 EC 780 ml/ha
  • Neem oil 12.5 lit./ha
  • Phosalone 35 EC 1.25 lit./ha

(Note: Insecticide / Ha NPV spray should be made when the larvae were up to third instar)


2.Semilooper: Autographa nigrisigna


Symptoms of damage

  • Skeletinization of leaves and the plant becomes whitish
  • The larvae feed on leaf buds, flowers, tender pods and developing seeds.
  • Ragged and irregular pod. (This is in contrast with the neat, and round hole, characteristic of pod borer damage.)
Identification of the pest
  • Moths have typically patterned forewings.
  • The larva 25 mm long is green semiloopers.
  • ETL 10% affected parts
  • Deep summer ploughing in 2-3 years to eliminate quiescent pupa.
  • Early sowing, short duration varieties.
  • Avoid closer plant spacing.
  • Grow tall sorghum as comparison crop to serve as biological bird perches
  • Collect and destroy larvae and adults to the extent possible
  • Install pheromone traps at a distance of 50 m @ 5 traps/ha for each insect pest.
  • Install Bird perches @ 50/ha.
  • Setting of light traps (1 light trap/5 acre) to kill moth population.
  • Control is achieved by releasing of Trichogramma chlionis at weekly intervals @1.5 lakh/ha/ week for four times.
  • Conserve green lacewing, predatory stink bugs, spider, ants
  • Application of NPV 250 LE /ha with teepol 0.1% and Jaggery 0.5% thrice at 10 – 15 days interval commencing from the flowering stage. (Note: Insecticide / Ha NPV spray should be applied when the larvae are in early stage).
  • Bt @ 600 g, neem oil/ pungum oil 80 EC @ 2ml/lit
  • Spray NSKE 5% twice followed by triazophos 0.05%.
  • Apply any one of insecticides at 25 kg/ha. Chlorpyriphos 1.5 % DP, quinalphos 4D, carbaryl 5D
  • Spray insecticides like Carbaryl 10%DP.(OR) Quinalphos 25 EC @ 1000 ml/ha.


3.Cutworm: Agrotis ipsilon

cut worm

Symptoms of damage

  • The caterpillar remains the soil at a depth of 2-4 inches.
  • The caterpillars cut the tender plants at the base, and branches or stems of growing plants.
  • The caterpillars drag the cut parts into the soil for feeding.
  • The buried stem or branches are almost the sure index of the place where the caterpillar is hiding.
Identification of the pest
  • Eggs – are laid on earth clods, chickpea stem bases and on both sides of leaves.
  • Larva – is dark brown with a red head.
  • Pupa -Pupation takes place in an earthen cocoon.
  • Adult- mothare brownish with numerous wavy lines and spots, measuring 3 to 5 cm across wings.


  • Deep summer ploughing.
  • Use well decomposed organic manure.
  • Adapt crop rotation.
  • Early sowing in the last week of October.
  • Intercropping with wheat or Linseed or Mustard reduces infestation.
  • In the early stages pick the insects and destroy.
  • Do not grow Tomato or Lady Finger in nearby field.
  • Grow Marigold on bunds
  • The adult insects can be controlled by light traps
  • Spray insecticides like quinalphos 25 EC @ 1000 ml/ha
  • In the case of severe infestation Spray insecticides like spark 36 EC at the rate of 1000 ml/ha. Profenophos 50 EC @ 1500 ml/ha.
  • Dilute the above in 500 – 600 litres water and spray.


4.Termites: Odontotermes obesus 


Symptoms of damage

  • Termite bores into the roots and stem. Due to the bore the plants soon dries.
  • Attack may continue to the standing crop also especially during the period of drought.

Identification of the pest

  • These are social insects, live in termitaria, in distinct castes, workers, kings and queen.
  • Eggs are laid on plants and in the soil.
  • ‘Worker’ are small (4 mm) and have a soft, white body and a brown head.


  • Frequent intercultural operations and irrigation before sowing.
  • Field sanitation, timely disposal of crop stables and undecomposed plant parts.
  • Undecomposed FYM or composed should not be used
  • Two-three deep ploughing could also help control this pest.
  • Destroy the termite bunds in and around the field and kill the queen and complimentary form.
  • Seed treatment with chlorpyriphos @ 4ml/kg of seed.



  • TamilNadu Agritech Portal


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