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Tobacco :: Major pests::Whitefly


6. Whitefly: Bemisia tabaci (Aleyrodidae: Hemiptera)


Distribution and status
India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Congo, West Africa, Japan and Europe
Host range
Cotton, tomato, tobacco, sweet potato, cassava, cabbage, cauliflower, melon, brinjal and bhendi.


Damage symptoms
These tiny white flies cause leaf curl disease in both nursery and mainfield. The leaves of curled plants are twisted, puckered and thickened with abnormally prominent veins. The plants show stunted growth and the yields are reduced.


Minute yellow adult covered with a white waxy bloom.  Eggs laid on leaves, egg period 3 days.  Nymph is greenish yellow oval in outline, along with puparia on the under surface of the leaves, nymphal period 5-33 days in summer, 17-73 days in winter.
ETL: 5-10 nymphs / leaf or 100 whiteflies per sticky trap.



  • Avoid leaf curl affected seedlings while transplanting in the field.
  • Remove and destroy alternate weed hosts.
  • Do not grow crops like brinjal and sunflower in the vicinity of tobacco fields.
  • If the population of leaf curl infested plants is less than 2% within one month after planting, remove and destroy them.
  •  Twelve yellow sticky (castor oil coated) traps per hectare are installed to monitor the white fly population.
  • If the population of whitefly is 100 per each sticky trap, the following spray schedule of insecticides is given at weekly interval commencing from 4 weeks after germination.
    • 1st spray - Imidacloprid 200 S.L. @ 125 ml in 500-800 L of water per ha
    • 2nd spray - Chlorpyriphos 20 E.C. @ 1.25 L in 500-800 L of water per ha
    • 3rd spray - Thiamethoxam 25 WG @ 100 g in 500-800 L of water per ha
    • 4th spray - Acephate 75 S.P. @ 500 g in 500-800 L of water per ha