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6 Paddy Pests You Need To Know About And How To Get Rid Of Them

Rice serves as a staple food for more than half of the world’s population. Paddy pests infestation results in yield loss, and reduced quality and quantity of the produce. An estimated average of about 22% of yield loss in paddy is due to insect pest infestation. The insect pests feed on paddy crops in different stages of growth and complete their lifecycle. Pests of major economic significance include Brown Plant Hopper, Leaf folder, Leaf hopper, Stem borer, Thrips and Gundi bug which causes a severe threat to rice production.  

Scientific name of rice: Oryza sativa

1.Rice Stem Borer:

Rice stem borer is one of the most important pests of paddy as it can cause about 20% yield loss in early-planted rice and 80% in late-planted rice.  It causes more destruction to rainfed wetland rice. Among the 6 species of stem borer affecting paddy, yellow stem borer causes more damage to the rice crop.  

Scientific Name: Scirpophaga incertulas 

Pest Attacking stages: Nursery, Vegetative & Reproductive stage 

Damage causing insect stage: Larva 


  • Feed on paddy tillers and causes ‘Dead heart’ or ‘Drying up’ symptom 
  • Development of whitehead or dead panicle during the reproductive stage 

Favourable conditions for Stem borer infestation in paddy: 

High nitrogen fertilization, late-planted crop and stubbles of the previous season favours the buildup of stem borer population.  

Economic Threshold Level (ETL): 10% dead heart (vegetative stage); 2% white ear (flowering stage) 

Solutions for Rice Stem Borer: 

Product Name  Technical content 
Virtako Insecticide  Chlorantraniliprole 0.5% + Thiomethoxam 1% GR 
Caldan Insecticide   Cartap Hydrochloride 50% SP 
Koranda Insecticide  Chlorpyrifos 50% and Cypermethrin 5% EC 
Alanto Insecticide  Thiacloprid 21.7% SC  

To know more about the stem borer management – Management of Stem Borer in rice

2. Brown Plant Hopper (BPH):

Scientific Name: Nilaparvata lugens 

Pest Attacking stages: Reproductive stage 

Damage causing insect stage: Nymph and Adult 

Vector for: Grassy stunt, ragged stunt, wilted stunt disease 


  • Affected rice plant dries up and shows scorched appearance called ‘hopper burn’ 
  • Sooty mould development at the base due to honeydew secretion 

Favourable conditions for BPH infestation in paddy: 

Areas having continuous submerged conditions, high shade, high humidity, high nitrogen fertilization, densely seeded crops favours BPH population.   

Economic Threshold Level (ETL): 1 hopper/tiller – In absence of predatory spider; 2 hoppers/tiller – In presence of spider at 1/hill 

Solutions for Brown Plant Hopper: 

Product Name  Technical content 
Token Insecticide  Dinotefuran 20% SG 
Pexalon Insecticide  Triflumezopyrim 10% SC 
Katyayani BPH Super  Pymetrozine 50% WG 
Ulala Insecticide  Flonicamid 50 WG 

To know more about BPH management – Management of Brown Plant Hopper

3. Green Leaf Hopper (GLH):

Scientific Name: Nephotettix virescens 

Pest Attacking stages: Nursery, Vegetative & Reproductive stage 

Damage causing insect stage: Nymph and Adult 

Vector for: Rice tungro virus (RTV), rice yellow and transitory yellowing 


  • Affected plants’ leaves start yellowing from the tip downwards 
  • Causes ‘hopper burn’ symptom 

Favourable conditions for Green leaf Hopper infestation in paddy:  

They are prevalent in rainfed and irrigated wetlands. Volunteer plants, stubbles, and early growth stages of plants are favourable for green leaf hopper infestation. 

Economic Threshold level (ETL): 60 No/ 25 sweeping (nursery); 5 No/hill (vegetative); 10 No/hill (flowering); 2 No/hill  

Solutions for Green Leaf Hopper: 

Product Name  Technical content 
Chess Insecticide  Pymetrozine 50 % WDG 
Lara 909 Insecticide  Chloropyriphos50% + Cypermethrin 5% EC 
Anshul Laksh Insecticide  Lambda Cyhalothrin 5% EC 
Anant Insecticide  Thiamethoxam 25 % WG 

To know more about Green Leaf Hopper management – Management of Green Rice leaf hopper

4. Rice Leaf Folder

Scientific Name: Cnaphalocrocis medinalis 

Pest Attacking stages: Vegetative & Reproductive stage 

Damage causing insect stage: Larva 


  • Larva folds the leaves and remains inside 
  • Transparent longitudinal whitish streaks on leaves due to leaf scraped by larvae 

Favourable conditions for Leaf Folder infestation in paddy:  

High nitrogen fertilization, high humidity, shady area, presence of weeds in the paddy field favours leaf folder population among other paddy pests. 

Economic Threshold level (ETL): 10% damaged leaves (vegetative stage); 5% damaged leaves (flowering stage) 

Solutions for Rice Leaf folder: 

Product Name  Technical content 
Takumi  Flubendiamide 20% WG 
Talstar FMC Insecticide  Bifenthrin 10 % EC 
Rilon Insecticide  Emamectin benzonate 5%SG 
Hibiki Insecticide  Chlorpyriphos 50% EC 

To know more about rice leaf folder – Management of rice leaf folder

5. Rice Gundi Bug / Earhead bug

Scientific Name: Leptocorisa acuta 

Pest Attacking stages: Reproductive stage 

Damage causing insect stage: Nymph and Adult 


  • Grains affected by gundi bug become chaffy 
  • Affected grains have black spots at the site of the feeding puncture 

Favourable conditions for Rice Gundi bug infestation in paddy: 

Weed population, staggered planting, warm weather, and frequent rains favour the gundi bug population. They occur more commonly in rainfed and upland rice.  

Economic Threshold level (ETL): 5 bugs/100 panicles (flowering stage); 16 bugs/100 panicles (milky stage) 

Solutions for Rice Gundi bug / Rice Earhead bug: 

Product Name  Technical content 
Greenpace Neemol  Neem Oil Extracts (Azardiractin) – 10000 ppm 
Actara Insecticide  Thiamethoxam 25% WG 
Predator Insecticide  Chloropyriphos 50%EC 
Voliam Flexi insecticide  200 gm/kg Thiamethoxam + 200 g/kg Chlorantraniliprole 

To know more about rice gundi bug – Management of rice gundi bug

6. Rice Thrips

Scientific Name: Stenchaetothrips biformis 

Pest Attacking stages: Nursery  

Damage causing insect stage: Larvae and Adult 


  • Silvery streaks on damaged leaves  
  • Leaves curl from the margin towards the middle 

Favourable conditions for thrips infestation in paddy: 

It is a more serious pest during the dry season. Dry weather, weed population and no standing water in paddy field encourage thrips damage.  

Economic Threshold level (ETL): 60 Nos/12 wet hand sweeps (Nursery) 

Solutions for Rice thrips: 

Product Name  Technical content 
Katyayani Imd-178 Imidacloprid 17.8 % SL 
Lara-909 insecticide  Chloropyriphos50% + Cypermethrin 5% EC 
Osheen Insecticide  Dinotefuron 20% SG 
Pegasus Insecticide Diafenthiuron 50%WP 


(NOTE: Economic Threshold Level (ETL) – It is the population density at which the control measures need to be determined to prevent the increasing pest population) 

 Note: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial or legal advice. Pesticides are a considerable risk of loss in crops and viewers are advised to do their own research before making any decisions.

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