Pests of Custard apple

Custard apple can be called as a delicacy of the dry region due to its very sweet delicate flesh but its cultivation can be affected by a number of pests which needs to be prevented.

Three major pests of custard apple are:-

1.Fruit borer: Heterographis bengalella

fruit borer

Symptoms of damage:

  • Caterpillar bore into the fruits making tunnels and feed on the internal content of the fruits
  • Affected fruits fall to ground

Identification of pest:

  • Larva: Black coloured caterpillar


  • Collect and destroy the damaged fruits
  • Spray malathion 0.1% two times once at flower formation and second at fruit set


2.Fruit fly: Bactrocera zonata

fruit fly

Symptoms of damage:

  • Maggot bore into the semi-ripened fruits
  • Feed on the inside fruits
  • Affected fruits get shrivelled, malformed, rot and fall off

Identification of pest:

  • Larva: Yellowish apodous maggots
  • Adult: Light brown with transparent wing


  • Collect fallen infested fruits and dispose of them by dumping in a pit and covering with soil
  • Provide summer ploughing to expose the pupa
  • Immersion of fruits in hot water (45 to 47 °C) for 60 minutes to kill eggs and maggots
  • Monitor the activity of flies with methyl eugenol sex lure traps.
  • Use bait spray combine any one of the insecticides and molasses or jaggery 10 g/l,
    • Fenthion 100 EC 1ml/l
    • Malathion 50 EC 2 ml/l
    • Dimethoate 30 EC 1 ml/l
    • Carbaryl 50 WP 4 g/l
  • two rounds at 2 weeks interval before ripening of fruits
  • Prepare bait with methyl eugenol 1% solution mixed with malathion 0.1%.
  • Take 10 ml of this mixture per trap and keep them in 25 different places in one hectare
  • Spray 0.1% malathion 50 EC at 1ml/lit
  • Field release of natural enemies Opius compensates and Spalangia philippines


3.Tailed mealy bug: Ferrisa virgata 

tailed mealy bug

Symptoms of damage:

  • Adults and crawlers are found on leaves, young shoots and fruit (between segments)
  • Yellowing of leaves
  • Reduction of fruit size and do not fetch premium price in the market

Identification of pest:

  • Nymph: Yellowish to pale white
  • Adult: Females apterous, long, slender covered with white waxy secretions


  • Collect and destroy the mealybug  infested leaves, shoots and fruits
  • Spray dichlorvos 0.05%, two times at new flush and shoot formation and second at fruit set.
  • Release Cryptolaemous montrouzieri beetles @ 10/tree



  • TamilNadu Agritech Portal


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