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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Long Bean Pod Borer

Maruca vitrata

Recognize the problem

Crops may be infested from early budding onwards. The eggs are laid on or in the flowers (inserted between the petals). Young larvae feed inside flowers for 5-7 days before moving to the pods when mid-sized. Favoured entry points are where flowers and pods are touching. After completing their development (10-15 days from egg hatch), larvae exit pods and pupate in the soil. Occasionally the larvae indulge in vegetative feeding and have been observed tunnelling in the stems and feeding inside the rolled and webbed leaves.


Eggs of the pod borer are pale cream and flattened. Larvae are pale cream with two rows of distinctive paired black markings on their back. In the final instar, these markings are often very pale. Larvae can reach 18 mm in length. The adult moths have a 20-25 mm wingspan and a slender body. They have brown forewings with a white band extending two-thirds down the wing from the leading edge. Inside this band near the leading edge is a white spot.


  • Remove/eradicate the weed host Sesbania spp. from cropping areas and other host plants as well.
  • Conserve natural enemies by reducing insecticides spray and avoid using of broad spectrum insecticides.
  • Destroy plant debris by burning or plough in the soil.
  • Pesticides are most effective if applied before larvae enter the pods. Once larvae entered the pods, less than perfect control is achieved as larvae can feed entirely inside the pods. They consequently encounter only minimal/ degraded spray deposits when it emerges to pupate.

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: Cambodia

Authors: General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA)
General Directorate of Agriculture (GDA)
tel: +855 23 631 9 070 ©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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