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Pink Bollworm

Pink Bollworm Control

Pectinophora gossypiella

Pink bollworm larvae specifically target cotton and are difficult to control because this damaging stage is found inside the boll. They are pinkish-white with brown heads, and can grow to ½ inch long. The adult is a small, grayish-brown moth that emerges in the spring. The females lay eggs on the host plant. They may also target, although less frequently, corn, peanut, tobacco, cowpea, and soybeans.

Cultural controls are the most effective organic method of treating bollworm. This includes proper watering, eliminating the food supply by cutting off irrigation in late summer, and shredding the cotton plants immediately after harvest. o will help reduce reproduction rates and can be used to determine levels of infestation.

Using the bacillus, Spinosad, can be effective if sprayed while larvae are over-wintering.


Photo courtesy of Texas Agricultural Extension Service. Texas A&M University.

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