In this article, we are going to discuss the management, control, symptoms, and preventions of stem borer in guava.
Guava, which is scientifically known as Psidium guajava is a popular and the most important fruit crop in both tropical and subtropical countries.
It is one of the economic fruits that is grown commercially worldwide due to its nutritional value and health benefits. Cultivation of guava fruit is always increasing year after year, especially in countries like India and the United States. And this increased in guava cultivation comes from the high demand for guava products from the international market.
However, insect pests are the major drawback to guava production and productivity. According to this report ref1, about 80 insect pests were identified and only a few of these pests are insects of regular occurrence.
Here are some examples of these pests: bark eating caterpillar, fruit fly, and mealy bugs. You can learn more about the common pests of guava here. One of the recently identified and most damaging guava pest is the stem borer.
Read on to find out the causal organism, symptoms, management, and prevention.
Causal Organism of Guava Stem Borer
Stem borer of guava is one of the group of insect pests that bore or feeds on the stem of guava plant and cause damage or reduce the growth rate and productivity of guava plant.
These insects mostly belong to the Coleoptera and Lepidoptera. They affect cereals and fruits sun as Banana, sugarcane, and tomatoes.
Common examples of stem borer pests are tomato stem borer (Symmetriselena tonolia), Banana stem borer weevil ( Cosmopolites sordidus), Sugarcane longhorn stem borer, and guava stem borer (Cossidae SP).
The guava stem borer is a larvae of an insect that is known as Carpenter moth (Cossidae). It belongs to the family Cossidae and order Lepidoptera of the phylum arthropod.
Life cycle and Mode of Infestation of Guava Stem
The life cycle of stem borer is usually completed within 330-360 days in field. The egg takes about 15-30 days, larvae 270 days, prepupa 15 days, pupa 30 days, and adult stage takes about 15-30 days.
While in the laboratory, the life cycle of stem borer was calculated to be 259-266 days. The guava stem borer can damage guava at any stage of the plant development.
The insect pest feeds on the stem and causes dead hearts and drying of central stem. This damage affects the general physiology of the guava plant. The pest usually affects guava during its larvae stage of development.
The larvae bore at the stem of the guava plant during the vegetative stage. While in older plant stem, the larvae bores through the upper nodes and feed toward the base of the guava stem.
Symptoms of Guava Stem Borer
- Presence of deadheads around the base of the guava stem during the vegetative stage
- Presence of whiteheads
- Small or tiny holes on the stem
Fecal matters inside infested stems
Management of Stem Borer in Guava
- Collect and destroy infested guava plants
- Spray pesticides
Preventions of Guava Stem Borer
- Plant resistant guava varietiety
- Apply nitrogen fertilizer timely
- Irrigate your guava plantation timely
- Prune guava plantation timely to allow proper passage of air in and put
- Use of good biological control agents such as green meadow grasshopper and spiders