Tobacco caterpillar

Tobacco caterpillar: Spodoptera litura

Symptoms of damage:

  • The early instar larvae feed gregariously on the under surface of the leaf leading to skeletonization of the leaves
  • Sometimes the feeding is so heavy that only petioles and branches are left behind. In case of severe attack cause complete defoliation

Identification of the pest:

  • Egg: Egg masses appear golden brown
  • Larva: Pale greenish with dark markings, gregarious in the early stages
  • Adult: Forewings are brown colour with wavy white markings, Hind wings- white colour with a brown patch along the margin 


  • Collect and destroy the egg masses and caterpillars in the early stages of infestation
  • Plough the field so as to expose the pupae to predators and parasitoids
  • Monitoring the pest with pheromone traps (4-5/acre) helps in timely treatment
  • To control early stage larvae, spray neem seed kernel extract (NSKE) 5% or chlorpyriphos 2.5ml 2ml or quinolphos 2ml or neem oil 5ml/ litre of water
  • As the grown up larvae move down to soil to hide during daytime, poison bait (1 litre of 1kg carbaryl+10kg of rice bran+1 kg jaggery+1 litre of water to make the bait in to pellets for one hectare) placement at the base of the plants helps in killing the larvae.



  • TamilNadu Agritech Portal


Show Buttons
Hide Buttons