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1. The larvae of this insect are gregarious in habit and are commonly known as ‘armyworm’. The young larvae feed on leaves, leaving only the mid-ribs and stems.
2. The old larvae cut off the panicles mostly at the base and hence the name “rice ear cutting caterpillar”. This stage of the insect causes serious loss to the paddy crop.
3. The larvae are shy of sunlight and generally feed at night. The damage to paddy crop is caused mostly during September to November.
4. The insect can be controlled by spraying the crop with 400 ml of Ekalux/Quinguard 25 EC (quinalphos) in 100 litres of water per acre.
5. As the pest is nocturnal in behavior, the spray should be done in evening hours for getting better results.
Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana