Pink Bollworm Attack in Cotton: Best Practices and Control Measures

  • , द्वारा Agriplex India
  • 7 मिनट पढ़ने का समय

Cotton Farming and Pink Bollworm Attack

Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is the most important commercial crop globally, often referred to as the "King of natural fiber" and "White Gold." It belongs to the family Malvaceae and the genus Gossypium. India holds the distinction of cultivating all four cultivated species of cotton and their intra- and inter-specific hybrids. Cotton is grown in three distinct agro-ecological zones in India: the Northern zone (Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan), the Central zone (Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh), and the Southern zone (Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka).

                             Among cotton pests, the pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) is the most important worldwide. In India, the incidence of pink bollworm on cotton in Maharashtra has been reported to exceed the Economic Threshold Level (ETL) and caused a 33 percent crop loss during 2017-18. Major states affected by this pest include Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka.

Life Cycle of Pink Bollworm:

The pink bollworm undergoes a life cycle consisting of the following stages:

Life Cycle of Pink Bollworm
  • Egg: The pearly iridescent white eggs are flattened and oval, measuring approximately 0.5 mm long and 0.25 mm wide. They have longitudinal lines and are laid singly or in groups of four to five.
  • Larva: The larvae of the pink bollworm undergo color changes as they mature. The first two instars are white, while the third instar and beyond develop a pink color. The larvae have a dark brown head due to the sclerotized prothoracic shield.
  • Pupa: The pink bollworm pupates within a thin silken cocoon in the cotton lint, soil, or kapas. The pupae start as light brown and gradually become dark brown as pupation progresses. They measure up to 7 mm in length.
  • Adult: The adult pink bollworm moth is grayish brown with blackish bands on the forewings, while the hind wings are silvery gray. Moths emerge from pupae in the morning or evening and are nocturnal, hiding among soil debris or cracks during the day.


Life Stage of Pink Bollworm

Nature of Damage by Pink Bollworm:

The pink bollworm larvae cause significant damage to cotton plants and bolls. Here are some characteristics of their damage:

  • Square, Flower, and Boll Infestation: The larvae enter squares, flowers, or bolls shortly after hatching. They penetrate the developing bolls through the tip, and the entrance hole closes as the boll matures.
  • Feeding on Seeds and Fiber: The larvae feed on the seeds and fiber-forming tissues inside the boll, resulting in the retardation of lint development.
  • Movement and Seed Destruction: The larvae feed on seeds and move to adjacent seeds and locules by creating holes through the septum.

Damage Symptoms of Pink Bollworm in cotton:

The presence of pink bollworm infestation in cotton crops leads to the following symptoms:

  • Bud Shedding: Infestation of flower buds causes them to shed prematurely.
  • Rosette Flower Formation: Flower infestation can lead to the formation of rosette flowers.
  • Reduction in Lint Development: The feeding activities of larvae result in reduced lint development and weakened lint quality.
  • Premature Boll Opening: Infested bolls may open prematurely, exposing them to saprophytic fungi growth.
  • Reduced Germination: If infested seeds are used for sowing, germination rates are reduced.
Symptoms of Damage by Pink Bollworm in Cotton

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Approach for Pink Bollworm

To effectively tackle the pink bollworm menace, an integrated pest management (IPM) approach is highly recommended. IPM involves combining various strategies and practices to minimize pest populations while reducing reliance on chemical insecticides. Here are some key components of an IPM approach for managing pink bollworms:

  • Crop Rotation: Rotate cotton crops with non-host plants like corn or sorghum to disrupt the pink bollworm life cycle. This practice can help reduce the population density of the pest.
  • Early and Late Planting: By planting cotton earlier or later than the peak pink bollworm emergence period, you can avoid heavy infestation and reduce pest pressure on the crop.
  • Resistant Varieties: Planting genetically modified (GM) cotton varieties that are resistant to pink bollworm can be an effective strategy. Bt cotton, which produces a toxin harmful to pink bollworm larvae, has shown considerable success in reducing infestations.
  • Monitoring and Trapping: Regularly monitor cotton fields using pheromone traps to detect the presence and density of pink bollworm populations. Trapping helps in determining the need for further control measures and facilitates decision-making.
  • Biological Control: Encourage natural enemies of the pink bollworm, such as parasitic wasps and predators like ladybirds, to establish a balance in the ecosystem. These beneficial organisms help control pink bollworm populations naturally.
  • Chemical Control: When necessary, judiciously apply insecticides to manage pink bollworm infestations. Rotate the use of different chemical classes to reduce the risk of resistance development. Timing the applications correctly based on the pest's life cycle is crucial for effective control.

For control of Pink Bollworm buy the best Insecticides online at Agriplex

 Top Chemical Insecticides for Control of Pink Bollworm in Cotton Crop

Brand Name



FMC Coragen Insecticide


60 ml in 200 Litre of Water

Godrej Gracia Insecticide

Fluxametamide 10% W/W EC

160 ml / Acre

Syngenta Ekalux Insecticide

Quinalphos 25% EC

2 ml /Litre of water

Bayer Fame Insecticide

Flubendiamide 480SC (39.35% w/w)

100 ml / 300 Water

Syngenta Voliam Flexi Insecticide

200 gm/kg Thiamethoxam + 200 g/kg Chlorantraniliprole

80 ml/ acre

Multiplex Raise Insecticide


60 ml in 200 Litre of Water

Multiplex Minchu Plus

Bacillus thuringiensis kurstakii

3 ml/ litre of Water

Multiplex Super Yodha

Emamectin Benzoate 1.9% EC

0.5 ml / litre of water

BASF Macera Insecticde

Emamectin Benzoate

66 gm for one acre



The pink bollworm presents a significant challenge to cotton growers, but by adopting an integrated pest management approach, farmers can mitigate its impact. Through a combination of cultural, biological, and chemical control methods, along with the use of resistant cotton varieties, it is possible to reduce pink bollworm populations and protect cotton crops. Implementing these strategies, along with regular monitoring and collaboration, will help sustain cotton production while minimizing economic losses caused by this destructive pest.

For more Details RefClick here



एक टिप्पणी छोड़ें

एक टिप्पणी छोड़ें

वेबदैनिकी डाक

लॉग इन करें

पासवर्ड भूल गए हैं?

अब तक कोई खाता नहीं है?
खाता बनाएं