Pectinophora gossypiella

Pink Bollworm


The pink bollworm is important pest in cotton cultivation. The pink bollworm is native to South Asian countries and has spread to all cotton growing regions of the world.

Life cycle and appearance

Pink bollworm lays eggs all over the cotton plant, preferably on or near the buds and flowers. Each female lay egg about 200-400 in singly or in small groups. Young larva enters the buds or flowers or squares after emergence where they feed internally within the pod and making an exit hole at maturation. Pupation takes place in soil, about 50mm below the ground and adults emerge after about 9 days. Adults are nocturnal and females lays eggs a day or two after emergence. The life cycle will be completed in 25 to 31 days under optimal conditions.

In cool dry conditions, larvae may undergo diapause in small cocoon in partially opened bolls, stored seed or in the soil. Diapausing larvae emerge when conditions are favourable but may remain dormant for up to 2.5 years.

Damage symptoms

Shredding of buds due to infestation of flower buds. Formation of rosette flower owing to flower infestation. Entry hole is plugged with excreta of the insect which are feeding inside the boll. Reduction of lint development, discolouration, and destruction of seed. Premature drop off infested bud and immature bolls. Premature opened bolls attract saprophytic fungi to grow in it.

How to get rid of pink boll worm

Koppert offers different solutions for biological pest control of pink boll worm.