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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Gram Pod Borer

Helicoverpa armigera, Autographa nigrisigna

Recognize the problem

The fresh eggs are yellowish, shiny and lay singly on all parts of plant. The larva is long, hairy and changes different colour.  The larvae have 3 streaks on their back. At the beginning the young grubs feed on green leaves, but then feed on flower buds and pods.

The adult is light pale brownish yellow stout moth with grey and brown wings. The young feeds on leaves and from December to February enter into the pods by making holes. In March high population of larvae tend to defoliate the whole plant which causes a severe damage.


It is the most dangerous and major pest of gram. Insect pressure is intense during March and April as they tend to defoliate the whole plant, especially during the podding stage. The young grubs bore inside the pod by making holes and then feeding on the developing grains. No gram field is free from its attack.


  • Perform visual observations (scounting) at weekly intervals
  • Apply neem seed extract 5% with 1% soap solution
  • Set light traps at 1 light trap/5 acre
  • Complete deep summer ploughing and avoided late sowing
  • Practice intercropping with linseed or wheat 2:1
  • Avoid close planting and use resistance varieties, e.g. Chaffa
  • Use biological control e.g. Trichogramma chilonis
  • Conserve green lacewing, predatory stink bugs, etc by avoiding the use of chemicals
  • If necessary, spray Deltamethrin 2.8 EC @ 250 ml/Acre, Chlorpyriphos 20 EC (75 ml) + Acephate 35 ml/Acre or Profenophos 50 EC @ 1500 ml/ha.

Pesticides are poisonous. Always read and carefully follow all precautions and safety recommendations given on the container label

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Pakistan

Authors: Muhammad Hasnain
Entomological research institute, AARI
tel: 0092-300-7383317 email:
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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