e course

Tobacco :: Index ::Pests of Tobacco


It is paradoxical that tobacco, which yields nicotine-a very effective insecticide, suffers from damage by many insect pests right from sowing to the leaf kept in storage. This is because of either selective feeding in phloem as in aphids or efficient excretory mechanism as in tobacco hornworm or capacity to metabolize nicotine to nontoxic cotinine and other alkaloids.


Caterpillars of various types including borers invade the nurseries as well as the fields. The ground beetles cut the young transplants causing gaps in the fields, aphids infest plants in the growth stage and suck juice from the leaves, and by secreting honey-dew on which sooty mould develops, makes the leaves unfit for curing. Capsule borers attack capsules and sometimes also climb down to feed on leaves. Apart from these, there are other pests such as crickets, grass hoppers, white flies, thrips and stink bugs which cause damage.