1. Leaf Spot

Pathogen : Cercospora moricola

Occurrence : It is more prevalent during rainy season followed by winter. The disease starts progressing 35-40 days after pruning (DAP)/leaf harvesting and becomes severe on the 70th DAP.

Crop loss : 10-12 %

Symptoms : Brownish necrotic, irregular spots appear on the leaf surface. Spots enlarge, extend and join together leaving characteristic ‘shot hole’. Leaves become yellow and wither off as disease becomes severe.

Leaf spot

Factors responsible for spreading of the disease:

Control measures to be adopted:

2 Powdery Mildew

Pathogen : Phyllactinia corylea

Occurrence : Disease is prevalent during winter and rainy seasons and progresses 40th DAP/leaf harvest becoming severe on 70th DAP.

Crop loss : 5-10%

Symptoms : White powdery patches appear on the lower surface of the leaves. The corresponding portions on the upper surface develop chlorotic lesions. When severe, the white powdery patches turn to brownish-black; the leaves become yellow, coarse and loose their nutritive value.

Powdery mildew

Factors responsible for spreading of the disease:

Control measures to be adopted:  

3. Leaf Rust

Pathogen : Cerotelium fici

Occurrence : The disease is more prevalent during winter and rainy seasons. It starts progressing 45-50 DAP becoming severe on 70th DAP. The mature leaves are more prone to the disease

Crop loss :  10-15%

Symptoms : Initially, circular pinhead sized brown eruptive lesions appear on the leaves and later leaves become yellow and wither off.


Leaf rust

Factors responsible for spreading of the disease:

Control measures to be adopted: 

4. Sooty mould

Pathogen : A group of fungi

Occurrence: The disease is more prevalent during winter (August-December) season.

Crop loss:  10-15%

Symptoms : Thick black coating develops on the upper surface of the leaves.

Factors responsible for spreading of the disease:

Control measures to be adopted: 


1. Root knot

Causal organism: Meloidogyne incognita (Nematode)

Occurrence: The disease is out break through out the year and more common in sandy soils under irrigated conditions.

Crop loss: 20 %


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Root knot nematode disease

Factors for spreading the disease

Control measure:

2. Root rot

Causal organism : Rhizoctonia bataticola (= Macrophomina phaseolina)

Associated secondary microbes : Fusarium solani/ F. oxysporum/ Botryodiplodia theobromae

Occurrence: Throughout the year in all types of soils especially when the soil moisture and organic matter in soil are low.

Crop loss: 15 % and above depending on the soil health and climate.

Symptoms: Initially the above ground symptom of the disease appears sudden withering of plants and leaves fall off from the bottom of the branches and progressing upwards.

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Above ground symptoms of root rot (yellowing/withering of leaves)

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Below ground symptoms of root rot (rotting of the roots)

Factors for spreading the disease:

Control measure: A target specific new formulation “Navinya” (herbal 80% & chemicals 20%) is used for the control of root rot disease of mulberry

Method of application : Prune off the dried shoots above 15-30 cm from ground. Make shallow ring around stump and apply the Navinya solution made by adding 10 g of Navinya in 1 liter of water (i.e. 1 kg Navinya in 100 liter water; sufficient for 100 plants @ 1 liter/plant). Pour the solution over the pruned stump to drench completely. Cover with soil around the stump to prevent exposure to sunlight. Treat the surrounding mulberry plants also to prevent spreading of the disease.

Precautions to be taken:


1. Pink Mealy bug

Occurrence & Symptom : Pink mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green) causes deformity symptom in mulberry which is popularly called as Tukra. Leaves become dark green, wrinkled & thickened with shortened inter nodal distance resulting in bunchy top appearance/resetting of leaves. It occurs throughout the year, but severe during summer months. Mulberry leaf yield is reduced by 4,500 kg/ha/yr due to this pest.

Control measures

Mechanical control:

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Clip off the infested portion by secateur, collect in a polythene bag and destroy by burning. This will help in reducing the chances of recurrence of pest. This practice may be followed when the silkworms attain 4th age.

Chemical control: Spray 0.2% DDVP 76% EC (@ 2.63 ml/lit water) 15–20 days after pruning. Safety period: 15 days.

Biological control:

Release predatory lady bird beetles Cryptolaemus montrouzieri @ 250 adult beetles or Scymnus coccivora @ 500 adult beetles in two equal splits at an interval of 6 months.

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Availability of predatory lady bird beetles: Pest Management Lab., CSR&TI, Mysore (ph. No.0821-2903285) cost: Rs 120 per unit.

2. Papaya mealy bug
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Occurrence & Symptom: The papaya mealy bug, Paracoccus marginatus is an exotic pest which infest a variety of crops such as papaya, guava, teak, vegetables, Jatropha, and weed plants like Parthenium, Sida, Abutilon etc. In mulberry its infestation causes malformation of affected portion, stunted growth of leaf, presence of red/black ants, honey dew secretion, growth of sooty mould, and outright killing of the plant. At present occurrence of papaya mealy bug is sporadic.

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Note: Exotic parasitoids are available at National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects (NBAII), ICAR, Bangalore [opp: CBI, Ganganagar, Bangalore; phone no. 080-23511982/98]

3. Mulberry Leaf roller
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Occurrence & Symptom : Incidence of Leaf roller, Diaphania pulverulentalis in mulberry starts with the onset of monsoon. It occurs from June to February but reaches peak during September – October months. The larva binds mulberry leaf blades by silken thread, stay inside & feed. Its feacal matter can be seen below the infested portion.

Control measures

Mechanical control: Remove the infested portion (along with the larva) by secateur, collect in a polythene bag and destroy by burning.

Chemical control:

Biological control : Release Trichogramma chilonis  egg parasitoid @ 1 Tricho card/week (for 4 weeks). Do not spray any insecticide after the release of trichogramma parasitoids.

(Note: Tricho cards are available on cost basis at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Suttur, Nanjangud taluk, Mysore dist. or Parasite Breeding Lab., Dept. of Agriculture, [Near DC Office] Mandya)

4. Bihar Hairy Caterpillar

Occurrence & Symptom : Incidence of Bihar hairy caterpillar, Spilarctia obliqua in mulberry starts with the onset of monsoon. It occurs throughout the year and in certain pockets it appears sporadically. Young larvae are gregariously found feeding on the underside of leaf giving an appearance of mesh and one can make out from distance. Grown up ones are solitary, very active, spread throughout the field and feed voraciously on the foliage.

Control measures

Mechanical/Physical control: Collect the egg masses or gregarious young caterpillars and destroy by dipping in 0.5% soap solution or by burning.

Chemical control:

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Biological control: Release egg parasitoids Trichogramma chilonis   @ 1 Tricho card/week for 4 weeks. Do not spray any insecticide after the release of trichogramma parasitoids.

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5. Thrips
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Occurrence & Symptom : Thrips, Pseudodendrothrips mori, is a major pest in Tamil Nadu and minor pest in Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh. It occurs throughout the year and severe during summer (February - April). Both adults and nymphs lacerate the leaf tissues and suck the oozing sap. Affected leaves show streaks in early stages and yellowish/brown blotches in the advanced stage of attack.

Control measures

Mechanical/Physical control : Use sprinkler irrigation to disturb thrips population & eggs on the underside of mulberry leaves.

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Chemical control: Spray 0.1% Rogor (@ 3 ml/lit water) 15 days after pruning. Safety period: 20 days.

Biological control: Release predatory lady bird beetles (Scymnus coccivora @ 500/acre).

6. White fly
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The name white fly is derived from the whiter appearance of the adults and their tendency to fly when disturbed. Adults have a pair of floury wings which are usually white with a few veins. In the recent years outbreak of Dialeuropora decempuncta has occurred on mulberry in southern state of Kerala and now observed to severely infest mulberry in the irrigated belt of Karnataka covering Mysore and Mandya districts.

Occurrence & Symptom : The spiraling of waxy material is the typical symptom of white fly attack. Prolonged dry spell followed by the hot humid weather favours the white fly flare up. Occur during the months March-June; October-December. Both nymphs and adults pierce and suck the sap from foliage and the damaged leaf become unfit for silkworm rearing.

Control measures

Mechanical/Physical control:

Chemical control: Spray 0.076% DDVP (@ 1 ml/lit water) 12 days after pruning (safety period: 10 days) and second spray with 0.05% Rogor 30% EC @ 1.5 ml/lit (safety period: 20 days)

Biological control : Release predatory lady bird beetles Cryptolaemus montrouzieri @ 250 adult beetles or Scymnus coccivora @ 500 adult beetles/acre.


Central Sericulture Research & Training Institute, Mysore, Karnataka



1. Leaf spot (Pestalotiopsis palmarum):

The disease appears on any part of the blade as circular to irregular patches, sometimes delimited by veins. The infected leaves show characteristic copper brown spots, just above the fungal growth, on the upper surface. Usually these are 2-8 mm in diameter but sometimes more extensive.  Affected leaves become brittle. The necrotic area becomes dry, shrunken and severed partly or entirely from the leaf as a hole. Severely infected leaves from which much of the dead tissue has fallen away present an extremely ragged or insect eaten appearance. Leaf yield loss due to leaf spot disease has been reported to be 8-12%.

Leaf spot occurs during July to November all over India when high humidity and high temperature prevail in the atmosphere. At CTRTI, Ranchi disease incidence in both T.arjuna and T.tomentosa was first observed during the month of June which increased steadily in the subsequent months and reached at its peak during the month of October. The disease shows positive correlation with relative humidity and rainfall. At R.T.R.S., Dumka, Baripada and Warangal r-value for RH was 0.888, 0.468 and 0.551, respectively. The r-value for rainfall was 0.455 at Dumka and 0.789 at Warangal.

2. Black nodal girdling (Uredo spp):

Disease symptoms begin from nectar gland and gradually spread to lower petiole region, in due course of time petiole and internodal regions get covered with black sooty spores along with mycelia, forming girdle like appearance. Thus, the entire leaf becomes unsuitable for silkworm rearing. In both Arjun and Asan plants, about 7-10% crop loss is reported.

The disease occurs during rainy and winter seasons. This disease also appears during July at most of the places, increases up to January and then declines. At CTRTI, Ranchi disease started appearing in the month of August and found maximum during the month of October. Minimum temperature, rainfall and RH are found positively correlated. wherwas maximum temperature is negatively correlated.

3. Powdery mildew (Phyllactinia terminaliae):

As the name indicates white powder like patches appear on the ventral surface of leaves, afterwards appearance of distinct dot like structures is noticed on the powdery patches. Under advanced stage, the disease shows chlorotic symptoms on dorsal surface of leaves with curved lamina. Affected leaves become yellow and fall down prematurely. The crop loss has been reported to be 25-30% in Arjun and 8-10% in Asan, though qualitative loss may be much more.

Powdery mildew is prevalent during October to December at most of the places. Maximum severity of powdery mildew at CTRTI, Ranchi in T. arjuna was observed during November. The disease occurs during October to March at all the places mainly due to change in minimum and maximum temperature. The disease is negatively correlated with temperature i. e., when the temperature is low, disease is more and vice versa. Rainfall is also negatively correlated.

4. Leaf Curl (Copper deficiency):

This disease is believed to be caused by deficiency of copper. Withering of leaves is observed in young and tender leaves, which show crinkling soon after expansion from the buds. Leaves exhibit boat shaped form due to folding of the leaflet along the midrib. Venation pattern shows tendency of conversing towards the apex of lamina and shows deep serration. Chlorosis of leaf starts from the margin as a result the tip and margin start drying and withering.

Leaf curl disease is prevalent during June/July to November/December at most of the places. It is positively and significantly associated with relative humidity (RTRS Bhandara: r= 0.640; Jagdalpur: r=0.564 and Warangal: r=0.744).


A calendar of occurrence of foliar diseases and different activities in Tropical Tasar culture areas is annexed as ready reckoner for management.

Leaf spot disease

Causal organism-Pestalotiopsis palmarum



Black nodal girdling disease

Causal organism- Uredo spp.

Class- Basidiomycetes


Powdery mildew disease

Causal organism – Phyllactinia terminaliae



Leaf curl disease



IPM  package for the control of gall insect, Trioza fletcheri

Cultural: Pruning of tasar food plants at 4 to 6 feet height is to be postponed up to 30th April to minimize gall insect infestation.

Mechanical:  Clipping the gall infested leaves of tasar food plants, collecting them into polythene / gunny bags and burning the same to avoid further spread of gall insect infestation; plucking and burning of gall infested tender leaves having eggs and matured gall  infested leaves; collection and burning of old leaves having diapausing nymphs during winter (Dec- Feb.) and off rearing seasons.

Chemical:  Soil application of Neem cake (dried and fine meshed @ 60 kg per acre) in the month of May before the onset of monsoon; foliar application of 15 ppm of Azadirachtin  (10 ml per litre of water) three times from May to June at an  interval of 15 days after sprouting (quantity of insecticides required-

Control of stem borer,  Aelosthes holosericea

Mechanical:  Collection and destruction of adults of stem borer insects; Collection and destruction of egg and grub with the help of sharp knife manually from bark and woody part of stem.

Chemical: Cotton soaked with 36% EC of Monocrotophos 0.07 % should be inserted in the holes made by the borer followed by mud plastering (quantity of insecticides required-1.94 ml per litre of water); plugging of holes with cotton soaked with 0.07% Monocrotophos (36% EC) followed by mud plastering (quantity of insecticide required-1.94 ml per litre of water).

Integrated package for the control of major defoliating pests

Cultural: Two times deep ploughing after silkworm rearing: Nov.-Dec. and March-April is to be done.

Mechanical:   Collection and destruction of different developmental stages of insect such as eggs, grubs/larvae, pupae and adults of coleopteran and lepidopteran pests during morning and evening hours  twice a week from the month of May to July.


Central Tasar Research & Training Institute, Central Silk Board, Ranchi




Central Tasar Research & Training Institute, Central Silk Board, Ranchi