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Ber is an important fruit crop grown under arid and semi-arid region of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, and other parts of India. Tree is well adapted to adverse climatic conditions, salinity and it gives good returns to the farmers. However, the avoidable loss is more due to insect pests and diseases.

Of the various insect pests infesting ber in India, borers are notorious as they are causing the direct damage to fruits and they are as follows

  1. Fruit flies, Carpomyia vesuviana Costa, Daccus correctus (Bezzi) and Dacus dorsalis (Saundars)
  2. Fruit/ Stone weevil, Aubeus himalayanus Voss
  3. Fruit borer, Meridarchis scyrodes Meyr

Presently, synthetic chemicals are widely used by the farmers to control theses pests. Sole reliance on insecticide will not give satisfactory control and it is essential to explore preventive measures to manage these pests. In this context, the integrated management strategy would be effective. Here, we are discussing some of the important tools IPM which can be employed for successful management of these pests.

Pest

Nature of Damage

Seasonality

Fruit flies,

Carpomyia vesuviana Costa, Daccus correctus (Bezzi) and Dacus dorsalis (Saundars) (Tephrididae: Diptera)

Adult fly

Fruit fly infested fuit with undulated shape

  1. Adult flies emerged from the soil and lay the eggs on developing fruits by making puncture with small cavity with help of protrusive ovipositor just below the epidermis.
  2. The newly hatched maggot start feeds on the pulp and making galleries with accumulated excreta, in severe attack it cause fruit deformation and fruit drop.
  3. The female preferred to oviposit in the central distal part fruit and the oviposition retard the growth of surrounding tissues causing depression in the fruits, the deformity was most noticeable in young fruits with oviposition holes.
  4. Full grown maggots come out of fruit and pupation takes place in the soil.
  5. Among the fruitflies Carpomyia highly specific to ber and itcauses 80% yield loss under severe infestation.
  6. Residual pupa is the main source of infestation.

 

November

to

February

Fruit/Stone weevil,

Aubeus himalayanus Voss (Curculionidae: Coleoptera)

 Damaged fruit and grub

 

Adult weevils

  1. Black colour egg laid marking in the stylar end of fruits.
  2. Grubs are white in colour with red marking.
  3. Misshaping, fruit dropping immature ripening, shrinking due to endosperm damage and drying of fruits also the mark of infestation.
  4. Weevil complete the life cycle in a single fruit.
  5. Adult activity will be more during September and October months and majority of egg laying taking place during this period.
  6. Egg laying after half of fruit maturity often fail the grub development.
  7. Upto 43% fruits are found to be infested in a single branch.
  8. Varieties having higher stone ratio found to be more prone to weevil attack.

 

 October

to

February

Fruit borer,

Meridarchis scyrodes Myer (Lepidoptera: Carposinidae)

  1. The first and second instar larva feeds on the fruit superficially but third to fifth instar larvae feeds internally and damages the pulp around the seed. 2. At initial stages of fruit development, the full grown larvae found to feed on soft immature seed. 3. It yield loss upto 70% under severe infestation
  2. Serious problem in the southern India and Gujarat
  3. In northern part of India this is not a serious problem

 

 

November to December

Integrated management strategies

Fruit flies

  • Field sanitation to break the reproduction cycle.
  • Destruction of wild ber bushes around the orchard.
  • Summer ploughing to kill the residual pupae.
  • Collection and destruction of infested and bird damaged fruits.
  • Cultivars Umran, Mundia, Banarasi Kadaka, Tikidi, Dodhia, Meharun, Illachi and Chhuhara found to be promising against C. vesuviana.
  • Foliar application of NSKE 5% followed by acephate 0.07% and repeat the NSKE 5% as a third spray at 15 days interval.
  • Spray dimethoate 0.03%. In spray fluids add 0.5% jaggery. Use of fishmeal trap, 5mg of wet fish meal+ 1ml of dichlorvos with cotton when the infestation is severe.
  • Use traps containing 1 ml methyl eugenol and 2 ml malathion/ litre of water and placing 100 ml of this mixture per trap at 10 traps per hectare would be effective against fruitfly D. correctus and D.dorsalis.

Fruit weevil/Stoneweevil

  • Collection and destruction of infested fruits around the trees.
  • Manual collection and destruction of adult weevil during morning and evening hours especially in the month of September and October will reduce the population.
  • Spraying of Carbaryl 50 WDP at 0.1% just before the fruit setting and repeat the sprays at three weeks interval was found as effective.

Fruit borer

  • Removal of wild ber trees present around or near to the ber orchard.
  • Collection and destruction of all fallen fruits.
  • Harvest of fruits at early stage when they are still green but fully mature.
  • Spray schedule comprises of malathion at 2 ml or fenvalerate at 0.5 ml or carbaryl at 4 g /lit of water or Neem Seed Kernal Extract (NSKE) 5%; first spray at marble stage, second spray at 15 days later and third spray at fruit ripening stage, by alternate use of insecticides would be effective against the fruit borer.   

Author:

V. Karuppaiah

Scientist (Agricultural Entomology)

Central Institute for Arid Horticulture Bikaner

Rajasthan

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