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Preventive Control

Natural enemies


  1. Braconid
  2. Tachinid
  3. Trichogramma


  1. Damselfly
  2. Hoverfly
  3. Lacewing
  4. Ladybird beetle
  5. Minute pirate bug
  6. Praying mantis
  7. Spider


Start bollworm monitoring after peak squaring (flower bud formation) and continue until most bolls have matured. To monitor, randomly choose 100 plants and look for larvae on the terminal growth. The treatment threshold is 10-12 small budworm or bollworm larvae every for 100 cotton plants (Hoffman; et. al., 1991).

Management and cultural practices

  1. Practice crop rotation. Avoid planting crops successively that are susceptible to bollworm like cotton, corn, sorghum, tobacco, soybean, and tomato. In countries where there are 2 distinct seasons (wet and dry), during the rainy season plant rice followed by beans, cotton or small grains in the second cropping. For example, practice close season planting, plant rice in June and harvest in October. From October to November plant cotton and harvest it from February to May (Hasse, 1986:1987).
  2. Grow a row of castor as border crop. Castor plants attract caterpillars that feed on cotton. Sow seeds of sunflower, black gram, and/or cowpea as trap crops in every 5 rows of cotton. These plants attract bollworm as well as provide habitat for natural enemies which feed on bollworms (CIKS, 2000).
  3. Burn cotton branches and debris heavily infested by bollworm.
  4. After harvest, plow-in plant residues immediately by incorporating these into the soil. Remove weeds surrounding your fields when your area is not planted with crops since these are the good laying sites for adults.
  5. Clear areas of weeds 2 weeks before planting. Removal of weeds kills the pests harboring in them.
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