Pest:Top shoot borer

This is a serious pest of young plantations in all pepper areas. The adult is a pretty tiny moth with a wing span of 10-15 mm. The basal half of the forewing is black and distal half orange red. The hind wings are grey. The larvae are grayish green and measure 12-15 mm in length.

  • pest 5
  • pest 6
  • pest 7


  • The larvae bore in to the tender terminal shoots feeding on internal tissues resulting in blackening and decaying of affected shoots.
  • The attacked portion of the shoots dries up and dies.
  • Caterpillar pupates within the larval tunnel.
  • The younger plants suffer the most.
  • Due to the continuous killing of terminal shoots the growth of the plant is arrested.

Procedure for Observation

Select 20 standards at random from the plot and count the number of plants showing damaging symptoms. Less than 5 plants mild; 5-10 plants moderate and >10 plants severe.


  • 2 plants showing damage.
  • Control Measures

  • The larvae are parasitized by Apanteles sp.;Euderus sp and Goniozus sp.
  • Spray BT formulations(Biolep, Biobit, Delphin, Halt ,Dipel etc) @ 0.7 ml/L
  • Spray 2 % neem oil garlic emulsion
  • Spray 0.05 % dimethoate
  • Beauveria bassiana @ 20 g/L or 5 ml/L of water can be sprayed for managing residual population if needed.