Tobacco Cutworm

Tobacco Cutworm: Spodoptera litura

Symptoms of damage:

  • Scrapping the epidermal layer, leaving the skeleton of veins of leaf
  • During severe attack, only the stem and side shoots will be standing in the field without any leaf or bolls
  • Larvae feed the leaves by making small holes.

Identification of the pest:

  • Egg – Laid in masses which appear golden brown
  • Larva- Pale greenish with dark markings. Gregarious in the early stages
  • Adult: Forewings– brown colour with wavy white marking
  • Hindwings– white colour with a brown patch along the margin.


  • ETL:8 egg masses/100 m row
  • Use of light trap to monitor and kill the attracted adult moths
    • Set up the sex pheromone trap at 12/ha to monitor the activity of the pest and to synchronise the pesticide
application, if need be, at the maximum activity stage
    • Growing castor along border and irrigation bunds
    • Removal and destruction of egg masses in castor and cotton crops
    • Removal and destruction of early stage larvae found in clusters that can be located easily even from a distance
    • Collection and destruction of shed materials
    • Hand picking and destruction of grown up caterpillars
    • Spray any one of the following insecticides per ha using a high volume sprayer covering the foliage and soil surface:
    • Chlorpyriphos 20 EC 2.0 l
    • Chlorpyriphos 20 EC 1.25 l
    • Chlorantraniliprole 18.5% SC 150 ml
    • Diflubenzuron 25% WP 300-350g
    • Spraying nuclear polyhedrosis virus at 1.5 x 1012 POB per ha in evenings.
    • Spraying of insecticides should be done either in the early morning or in the evening and virus in the evening.
    • Use of poison bait pellets prepared with rice bran 12.5 kg, jaggery 1.25 kg, Carbaryl 50% WP 1.25 kg and water 7.5 litres. This bait can be spread in the fields in the evening hours so that the caterpillars coming out of the soil, feed and get killed.



  • TamilNadu Agritech Portal


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