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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Prevention of Spotted Pod Borer on beans

Maruca vitrata

Recognize the problem

     The spotted pod borer feeds on several beans and peas apart from chickpeas. Larvae web together the bean leaves, flowers, buds and new shoots, then feed inside on these plant parts, protected by the webbing. This causes new shoots and buds to appear dry. The larvae also make holes in the pods and feed on the seeds and pods, preventing the pods from becoming fully developed. This damage to the pods and seeds, and the defoliation (leaf drop) the insects cause, means they are regarded as a serious pest.


    The damage caused by the pod borers results in yield losses of 20-50%. Pod borers are difficult to control effectively because the webbing around leaves and buds, and the pods around the seeds protect larvae from natural enemies and exposure to pesticides. Therefore, prevention is more effective at reducing the incidence of the spotted pod borer.


  • Use light traps starting at 15 DAS
  • Smoking at 30 DAS, then at weekly intervals
  • Hand pick and destroy the larvae once infected plant parts are seen
  • Apply neem pesticide at the beginning of flowering until harvesting, use dosage as recommended on the label
  • Apply systemic pesticides and contact pesticides alternatively when 2 larvae/20 plants occur, or take action when 10% infected plants/acre occur. Possible applications include acephate, carbaryl, profenofos, deltamethrin 500cc/ac, chloropyrifos 40%EC, emamectin benzoate 5% + lambda-cyhalothrin 10%WP.
DAS: days after sowing

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: Myanmar

Authors: Yee Yee Myint
Plant Protection Division, Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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