PESTS: The details of the various pests of crops grown in the district are given below. The extent of damage done by the different pests cannot be accurately estimated, as it depends upon the severity of infestation in any particular year.

Of Cereals.

Bhatachya lombya kurtadnarya alya.

Bhatachya lombya kurtadnarya alya, the swarming caterpillars (spodoptera mauritia), occasionally make a serious depredation on paddy in the kharif season. These insects feed on green foliage and destroy plants. The crop is protected by dusting with 10 per cent. benzenhexachloride (B.H.C.). The latter is more effective, though costly.

Bin Pankhi to.

Bin pankhi tol, the wingless grasshopper of the Deccan (colemania sphenariodes), is a serious and widespread pest. These pests are active during the period from July to November and mostly attack the crops of paddy, jowar and bajri in the kharif season. It is effectively checked by dusting with 10 per cent. B.H.C. powder at the rate of 25 to 30 lbs. per acre.

Khod kida.

Khod kida, the stem-borer (chillo zonellus), is active from May to October and the damage done is occasionally reported as serious. These caterpillars bore into the central shoot of the plant and destroy it from within. In order to destroy this pest the stubbles of the previous crop are uprooted and burnt. The jowar kadbi should be cut into half inch bits for the purpose of storing. These hiberanating caterpillars are wholly destroyed from the fields by burying the jowar stubbles below ground 5" to 6" deep for about two months.


Khekada, the crab (paratelphusa guerini ; gecarcinucus jacque montii) is a serious pest of paddy in the western zone of the district. The crabs destroy the paddy crop during July, August and September. They can be destroyed by the application of cyano gas "A" dust at the rate of one tea spoonful per burrow or fumigating burrows with cyano gas by means of a foot pump; fumigation is done in the evenings.

Pikavaril kajave.

Pikavari kajave, the blister beetles (zonabris pashilata) are insects which have upper wings converted to hard wing cases, and attack the earheads of the bajri and paddy crop during the kharif season. The damage done is occasionally serious. These beetles are collected by hand and destroyed.

Lod or Shirkid.

Lod or shirkid, army worms (cirphis loreyi cirphis unipuncta), are caterpillars and appear in swarms and destroy the green foliage of the crops. This pest is widely distributed in the district and is active during the kharif season. Occasionally it is serious. It can be controlled by thorough ploughing after the harvest in order to expose the pupae from the soil, by crushing the caterpillars lying in the central whorls of plants, and by dusting the affected crop with some stomach poison such as Paris green or strong B.H.C.


Sheda, rice hispa (hispa arnuigera). This beetle feeds on the leaves of the paddy plant. It also feeds on wild grasses and spends the cold season on the bunds and waste lands from where it invades the paddy fields by flight. It appears in March and passes through many generations. Damage is done to young and healthy dark green paddy crop. It is effectively checked by spray of 50 per cent. water dispersible B.H.C. 2 to 3 lbs. in 100 gallons of water.

Bhatache Khodatil Kid.

Bhatache khodatil kid, the stem borer (schoenobius incertellus). This is a shoot boring caterpillar. Eggs are laid on the leaves and the caterpillar later bores into the stem. Young paddy is not much harmed but the later generations of the cater-pillars check the developing ears which turn prematurely white. Rotation of crop, if possible and ploughing of stubbles after harvest of the crop, is the effective measure to check its spread.

Of Sugarcane.


Khod-kida, the stem borer (argyria sticticraspis), is a pest widely distributed and attacks sugarcane seriously during the early stage of the crop. These caterpillars bore into the central shoots of the young cane and destroy it. In the early stages, if the attack is localised the affected canes are cut along with the caterpillars inside and destroyed.

Shende pokharnari ali.

Shende pokharanari ali, the top shoot borer (scirpophage nivella), is a serious and widely distributed pest. These caterpillars bore into the stems and destroy the plant. Infestation by this pest is noticed throughout the life of sugarcane. This pest is being controlled by collecting and destroying the egg masses and by encouraging egg parasites in the field. In the early stages, the affected shoots are cut from their bases along with the caterpillers and destroyed.

Usavaril tudtude.

Usavaril tudtude, the sugarcane leaf hopper (pyrilla-sp.) is a pest occasionally serious in sugarcane growing areas. It is very rarely seen in this district. The eggs laid in the cold Season hibernate and, from May to December, all stages of the pest are seen on the cane. The adults and nymphs suck the leaves and devitalise the cane. The egg masses are crushed by hand. After the harvest of the infested crop, the trash is burnt. The egg parasites are encouraged in the sugarcane fields. In the case of localised attack, spraying with nicotine sulphate is also found beneficial.

Of Fruits and Vegetables.


Bhirud, the mango stem-borer (batocera rubus) is a widely distributed pest in the district and sometimes it assumes serious proportions. The larvae tunnels into the stem and branches, If young plants are infested, the plants are destroyed. The ways of controlling this pest include extraction of the larvae from the tunnels by means of a thick beat wire, cleaning of larval burrows and fumigation of the bore with a solution consisting of carbon disuplhide and petrol in equal proportion.


Tudtude, the mango hoppers (indiocerus-spp.), do considerable damage to the mango inflorescence. The pest is active from December to March. Although it appears every year, some-times it assumes serious importance. The pest is very widely distrbuted. The nymphs and adults desap the young inflorescence, with the result that the tender developing fruits fall down prematurely. Dusting with five per cent. D.D.T. and sulphur dust mixed in equal quantity is found to be effective in controlling this pest.


Devi, the scale insect (aspidiotus sp.), usually attacks citrus fruits such as lemons and mosambi. These insects are covered with a shell of secretory material over their bodies and suck the sap from various parts of the plant and the developing fruits and cause considerable damage to the crop. The only effective measure of controlling these insects is to spray the plants with a resin compound.


Mava, the vegetable aphids. It is a very widely distributed pest and consists of a number of species. Different species infest a number of different vegetables, such as cabbage, nawalkol, peas, radish and brinjals during September-March. This pest has been effectively controlled by spraying (i) fish oil resin soap, (ii) tobaco decoction or nicotine sulphate and (iii) pyrocolloid solution in the proportion of 1 in 800 parts of water. Fifty wetable B.H.C. is also very effective.

Mulya Kurtadnarya alya.

Mulya kurtadnarya alya, the cut worm (agrotis sp.) generally attacks cruciferous plants, tomato, potato and chilly. Occasionally, the pest assumes serious importance. The larvae cut the growing plants at their collars and feed on the green foliage of the cut plants. It is a usual practice to trap these worms in dry grass heaps. In the early moring dry grasses are heaped at various places in the infested fields. during the hot part of the day the larvae seek shelter under such heaps, which along with the caterpillars are destroyed in, the evening. Frequent interculturing and stirring up the soil also helps to check this pest. Poison baits are also found useful.

Phal mashi.

Phal mashi, the fruit fly (chaetodacus sp.), is a major pest, occasionally reported as serious, on cucurbits, mango and guava in the fruiting season. These maggots feed into the ripening fruits and damage them. The flies are trapped and destroyed. The affected fruits are removed from the trees and destroyed. In order to check further infestation, spot spraying on the crop with tartar emetic may be adopted.

Tambade mungle.

Tambade mungle. the red ants (oecophylla smargdina), are a great menace to the gardeners particularly at the time of harvest and other operations in the fruit orchards, especially in mango gardens. Their incidence is due to the presence of mealy bugs on the plants. Red ants have been controlled by dusting with ten per cent. B.H.C.


Thrips (thrips tabacci), occasionally attack seriously vegetable crops such as onions, chillies and potatoes. These insects feed on the green leaves and shoots, with the result that the leaves turn yellow and dry up. Spraying the affected crop with tobacco decoction is found effective.

Tomato pokharnari ali.

Tomato pokharnari ali, the tomato fruit-borer (heliothes obsoleta). These caterpillars are recently reported as serious pest at times on tomato fruits. The larvae bore into the frurts and destroy them. Spraying the tomato plants with lead arsenate is found effective. The fruits from the treated plants should be washed before they are sent to the market.

Wangi pokharnari ali.

Wangi pokharnari ali, the brinjal fruit borer (leucinodes orbonelis), is a major pest of the brinjal with a wide distribution in the district. Brinjal is the only fruit vegetable grown in the district throughout the year on a large scale. The fruits are bored and destroyed by the caterpillars. The affected shoots and fruits are clipped off and destroyed along with the insects. The infested crop is sprayed with lead arsenate. The fruits from such plants should be washed before sending to market.

Others. Undir.

Undir, the rat. This rodent is a pest of cultivated crops such as paddy, wheat, groundnut and sweet potatoes in the fields and stored grains in the godowns and houses. In the fields, the rats are destroyed by hunting trapping and poison baiting with barium carbonte, white arsenic or zinc phosphide. In the houses and godowns, the rat burrows are successfully fumigated with cynao gas powder to kill the rats inside.


Valvi, the white ants. Occasionally white ants are reported as infesting roots of field crops such as wheat, jowar, bajri and sugarcane. The pest is widespread and active throughout the year. If the pest is of a mound-forming specie, the ant-hill is dug and the queen ant is killed. Poison baiting with Paris green and wheat bran is also effective. Application of crude oil to irrigation water also helps to drive out the white ants from the infested fields.


Vanar, the monkeys. Losses on account of monkeys are serious at times in the district, especially on the adjoining lulls. Damage is done not only to fruits but also to grain crops.


The damage caused by wild animals is not much as these animals are rarely found in the district. Wild pigs are great enemies of the crops in the hilly areas (especially paddy and sugarcane).


DISEASES: In addition to the damage done by pests, the crops in the Kolhapur district suffer from various diseases. Given below is a brief description of each of the important diseases affecting the important crops of the district.

Of Cereals.

 Kanis the jowar smut.

Kanis the jowar smut (spacelotheca sorahi). Individual grains in the ears get enlarged, the outer covering remaining in tact the contents are replaced by blackish-brown powdery mass. The best treatment to check this disease consists of treatment with fine sulphur powder before sowing, the cost of which works out at hardly an anna per acre.

Kani, the wheat smut.

Kani, the loose smut of wheat (ustilago tritici). This disease is confined to wheat crop only, and the damage done is negligible. Solar heat treatment of the seed before sowing effectively controls and minimises the chances of the crop from being affected by this disease.


Karpa, the blast of rice, (piricularia oryzae). This disease has assumed large proportions in the district, especially in the heavy rainfall tracts. Considerable damagr is done eherever it occurs. Seed treatment with Perenox, before sowing, and and spraving the crop with its solution is recommended and found effective.


Tambera, the rust (puccima graminis tritici). This disease occurs generally in wheat fields. Late rains are favourable to this disease. The rust resistant strain viz., kenphad is being distributed to replace the local as well as the khapli varieties which are also attacked by this disease.

Of Fruits and Vegetables.

The following diseases affect fruits and vegetables:

Bhuri, of mango.

Bhuri, the powdery mildew of mango (oidium mangiferae) This affects the blossoms of mango. It occurs simultaneously with hoppers and causes severe blighting of blossoms during January and February. This disease is very effectively controlled by the application of fine sulphur dust to the blossoms at intervals of a fortnight. From three to five applications during the season, beginning with the blossoming period, are sufficient.

Bhuri, of peas.

Bhuri, the powdery mildew of peas (erysiphe polygoni). This disease is locally known as taka and is a limiting factor in the cultivation of peas. The disease appears in the rabi crop at the time of flowering and the yield reduces considerably. It has been successfully controlled by one application of fine sulphur dust at flowering time at the rate of about 25 lbs. per acre.


Dinkya, the fummosis of citrus (phytophthora palmivora). This disease occurs on lemon trees in the district, though on rare occasions. Ring irrigation is an important preventive measure. The gum is treated with creosote oil.


Kevada, the yellow vein mosaic of bhendi is a virus disease; both the kharif and rabi crops of bhendi suffer from it. It is very destructive and widespread and causes much damage to the crop. It is highly infectious and is transmitted by the while fly. Systematic rouging and destruction of all affected plants in the season effectively controls the disease.

Kobi kujane.

Kobi kujane, the blackrot of cabbage (xanthomonas campestris). This a bacterial disease and takes serious proportions in contaminated soil. The disease is seedborne and is amenable to seed treatment with mercuric perchloride solution. The treatment is adopted on a limited scale only and is not for general application.

Mar, of brinjals.

Mar, the wilt in brinjals (verticillium dahliae). Brinjal crop suffers seriously from this disease. It is a high temperature disease. The damage, therefore, depends upon the soil temperature.

Mar, the fruit rot.

Mar, the fruit rot. This disease is found in chillies, causing shedding of flowers and dieback of branches. It spreads during October-December. Spraying twice with 0.3 per cent. Perenox or one per cent. Bordeaux mixture in October-December controls the disease.


Tikka, the leaf spots in groundnut (cercospora personata). Small yellowish spots appear on the leaves. These spots become larger and larger, and ultimately make the leaves look yellowish brown. These leaves drop off and weeken the plants; pod formation is, therefore, arrested. Spraying the undersurface with 0.3 per cent. Perenox helps to control this disease.