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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Dusky Cotton Bug

Oxycarenus hyalinipennis

Recognize the problem

Though the bug sucks cell sap from leaves, flowers and growing soft tissues of upper stem, the main damage is when they get crushed at the time of ginning, thus staining the lint and decreasing the market value of the cotton. The bugs suck the sap in groups from the immature seed which consequently do not ripen and remain light weight. The bugs also cause nuisance to workers during picking.

The adults are about half the size of a fingernail and are dark brown in colour. The winged adults have dirty white semi-transparent wings and the young are round. The eggs, laid on the lint of half opened bolls of cotton, are white and cigar shaped. They are laid in clusters of 3-18.


The dusky cotton bug used to be a minor pest of cotton but its importance has grown in the last few years, as populations are becoming larger. A number of generations throughout the year have been observed. Dusky cotton bugs also live on other plants, such as okra.


  • The easiest control is to remove alternate host plants like okra etc. before and near the main crop
  • Collect the adults and nymphs by shaking the bolls into vessels with kerosinised water
  • Spray chlorpyriphos @ 1000ml per 100 litres of water

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: Pakistan

Authors: Syed Ismat Hussain
Department of Pest Warning & Quality Control of Pesticides
tel: +92-0321-6829583 email:
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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