The Chilli Root Grub Nematode, Holotrichia serrata, belonging to the Family Scarabaeidae of the Order Coleoptera, is a severe agricultural pest that causes significant yield losses and reduces quality of crops worldwide. The larvae are active during the night and feed on the roots of chilli plants, causing considerable damage to the crop. They are responsible for most of the damage to chilli crops.
Several methods, such as crop rotation, organic fertilizers, and nematodes, can also be effective in controlling chilli root grub infestations. To effectively manage this pest, it is essential to understand its life cycle, its preferred habitats, and the best methods for controlling it. This article will provide an overview and discussion of the Chilli Root Grub Nematode Pest in Chilli crops, including its symptoms, identification techniques, and control.
Chilli Root Grub Nematode Pest Management
Life Cycle of Chilli Root Grub Nematode Pest in Chilli Crop
The life cycle of the Chilli Root Grub Nematode pest has four stages. They are egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The life cycle begins when the adult female beetle lays its eggs in the soil near the roots of chilli plants. The female beetle lays up to 100 eggs during her lifetime. The eggs hatch in about two weeks, and the newly hatched larvae begin to feed on the roots of chilli plants. The larvae feed on the roots of chilli plants for several months, causing significant damage to the plants.
The larval stage is the most critical damaging stage of the chilli root grub’s life cycle. After feeding on the roots of chilli plants for several months, the larvae pupate in the soil. The pupal stage lasts for about three weeks. The pupa is inactive and does not feed during this stage. After about three weeks, the pupa transforms into an adult beetle. Adult beetles are active during the night and feed on the leaves of plants. The chilli root grub has a life cycle of one year and can produce one generation per year.
Occurrence of Chilli Root Grub Nematode Pest in Chilli Crop
- Location of Chilli Root Grub Nematode Pest: This pest infests Chilli crops in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Africa, Sri Lanka, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Australia.
- Host Range: The Chilli Root Grub Nematode pest infects crops like Chilli, Potato, Sugarcane, Cotton, Beans, Peas, Red gram, Pearl millet, Maize, and Sorghum.
Factors Favoring the Population Increase of Chilli Root Grub Nematode Pest in Chilli Crop
- Temperature – The pest prefers warm temperatures between 25-30°C, which can accelerate its life cycle and increase its population.
- Humidity – The pest prefers high humidity levels of above 80%. In areas with high rainfall and humidity levels, pest infestation is more prevalent.
- Soil Type and Moisture – The pest prefers loamy soils rich in organic matter and that have good moisture retention capacity. Compacted or poorly drained soil can increase the risk of chilli root grub infestation.
- High-density Planting – Dense planting can provide shelter and cover for the pest, increasing the infestation risk.
- Irrigation – Over-irrigation can lead to waterlogging, creating favourable conditions for the pest to breed and feed.
- Fertilizers – Overuse of fertilizers can also increase the pest’s population by providing them with more nutrients for their growth and development.