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Pests of Apple :: Major Pest :: Tent Caterpillar


7. Tent caterpillar: Malacosoma indica (Lasiocampidae: Lepidoptera)


Distribution and Status: Important pest in north western India and more serious in Shimla Hills.
Host range: Pear, Apricot and Walnut.


Damage symptoms

Caterpillar feeds gregariously on foliage, leaving behind only the mid rib and other harder veins. The entire plant is defoliated and they feed on soft bark of twigs.



Active from March to May and remaining months are passed as egg stage. Light brown adult lays 300-400 eggs in masses on branches during May- June. Egg hatches the next month and the larva has black head and abodomen. Larval period 40-70 days, pupation on stem and ground in cocoon for 7-21 days during May.


Kill larvae by mopping up with a pole and some rags dipped in kerosene tied on its end.
Destroy all egg bands at the time of pruning in December - January.
Place kerosenized water in an open vessel below the tree so that the laraveĀ  that fall may also be killed.
Spray endosulphan 35 EC 1.75 L orĀ  carbaryl 50 WP 2.5 kg in 1500 -2000 L of water/ha.