As you walk through your cotton fields, have you noticed small pests feasting on your cotton crops, sapping their vitality and hindering their growth? These pesky intruders are none other than cotton aphids.
They are small, sap-sucking insects that pose a significant challenge to cotton cultivation worldwide. With their sap sucking behavior, cotton aphids can stunt plant growth, lead to gradual drying and even cause stunt growth. But, by implementing IPM strategies you can effectively combat cotton aphids and safeguard the health and productivity of your cotton fields. In this article, we will explore the impact of cotton aphids and provide practical solutions for managing these tiny but destructive pests.
Type of Infestation
Cotton Aphids are a type of sap feeder, which feeds on the sap of the cotton plants.
Scientific Name: Aphis gossypii
Most Affected States
Aphids are most common pest of cotton in many regions of India. Some of the major affected state in India include Assam, Orissa, West Bengal, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Symptoms of Cotton Aphids
- Cotton aphids mainly infest tender shoots and undersurface of the leaves of cotton plants.
- They suck the sap from plants and cause stunted growth.
- As a result of sucking, gradual drying can be seen which eventually leads to death of the cotton plants.
- The infested plants may also develop sooty mould growth, which is a result of the honeydew excreted by cotton aphids
Cotton Aphids can be controlled by practicing Integrated Pest Management methods which includes cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical measures.
- Regularly remove weeds and other debris in and around cotton fields.
- Avoid applying excessive dozes of nitrogenous fertilizers.
- Proper nutrition management, including balanced fertilization and irrigation can also help to reduce the susceptibility of cotton plants to aphids’ attacks.
- Collect and destroy the infected plant parts.
- Tapas Yellow Sticky Traps at the rate of 6-8 traps per acre can be used for the effective control of aphids in cotton fields.
- Release natural predators such as lady bird beetles, green lacewing, hoverflies and spiders etc. These predators feed on aphids and can help to keep their numbers in check.
- Also release parasitoid like Aphelinus sp., to effectively control cotton aphids’ populations.
- Greenpeace Neemol Bio Neem Oil Insecticide contains neem-based products azadirachtin which when used at the rate of 1-2 ml per liter of water with 15 days interval between each spray can effectively control aphids in cotton fields.
- Amruth Alestra Liquid and Amruth Almax Liquid are biological insecticides containing the strains of naturally occurring entomopathogenic fungi Verticillium lecanii and Beauveria bassiana respectively, which comes in contact with the cuticle of the cotton aphids and colonizes them. The recommended dosage is 2 ml per liter of water.
Chemical control is often necessary to control cotton aphids when other control measures are not effective. The following are some commercial chemicals that are commonly used to control aphids in cotton crops:
|Product Name||Technical Content||Dosage|
|Battalion Insecticide||Thiamethoxam 25% WG||0.5 gm/lit water|
|Katyayani IMD – 178||Imidacloprid 17.8 % SL||0.25 ml/lit water|
|Ulala Insecticide||Flonicamid 50% WG||0.4 gm/lit water|
|Pager Insecticide||Diafenthiuron 50% WP||1 gm/lit water|
|HI field AG Pyramid Insecticide||Acetamaprid 20% SP||0.5 gm/lit water|
|Alika Insecticide||Thiamethoxam 12.6% + Lambda-cyhalothrin 9.5% ZC||0.4 ml/lit of water|
|Shinzen Plus Insecticide||Fipronil 5% SC||3-4 ml/lit of water|
|Tafgor Insecticide||Dimethoate 30% EC||2 ml/lit of water|
|Benevia Insecticide||Cyantraniliprole 10.26% OD||1.8 ml/lit water|
|Osheen Insecticide||Dinotefuran 20 % SG||0.75 gm/lit water|
|Sivanto Bayer Insecticide||Flupyradifurone 17.09% SL||2 ml/lit water|