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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Brown plant hopper of rice

Nilaparvata lugens

Recognize the problem

The brown plant hopper is the most damaging insect in rice cultivation in Bangladesh. It is so damaging that sometimes the whole rice field is lost. The brown plant hopper is a tiny insect, which some farmers do not notice, even though their rice plants are covered in it.

The brown plant hopper normally attacks at the base of the plant. First it sucks sap from the plants. The plant becomes dry and may even die. The worst attack is in the booting stage or just before the rice ripens. The plants look burnt. The field looks like it has been burned by lightning.


Some rice fields are just right for the brown plant hopper to live and grow and kill the rice. The brown plant hopper likes some kinds of rice more than others. Some rice varieties like BR-26, BRRI dhan-33 are susceptible to the brown plant hopper.

The hoppers like warm and moist weather but do not like bright sun light.

If you use a lot of seed, and plant the rice close together, it is easy for the hoppers to move from one plant to another.

The hopper likes to eat rice that has been fertilized with lots of urea.

Spraying pesticides early in the season kills hopper predators such as spiders.


  • Cultivating resistant rice varieties, like BRRI Dhan 27, 31, 35. If you have had brown plant hopper problems with one variety of rice, try planting another one.
  • Maintaining proper planting distance, 20 centimeters plant to plant, and 25 centimeters line to line.
  • Every 10 rows, leave one line empty, to make it easier to manage, and to let in sunlight.
  • Rear ducklings in the rice field, so the ducks can eat the brown plant hoppers.
  • Land should be dried just after finding brown plant hopper
  • Do not apply excess urea.
  • Avoid spraying pesticides early in the season, to preserve hopper predators.
  • If you have a lot of hopper at the later stages of rice, apply the insecticide imidacloprid. Read the label or ask the dealer or an agriculturalist to tell you the proper dose.
  • Spray the lower part of the plants.

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Bangladesh

Authors: Shahriar Zaman, Suman Ray, Bishwajit Mondal, Md. Mofazzal Hossain
tel: 880-01714-252288 email:
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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