Pod borers (Maruca vitrata, Etiella zinckenella, Helicoverpa armigera)
The legume pod borer (Maruca vitrata), the lima bean pod borer (Etiella zinckenella) and the African bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) are major pests of soybeans. The adults are small moths. They are nocturnal and seldom seen in the field at daytime. Caterpillars of these moths feed on the floral parts and pods of legume plants, rendering them unmarketable. They scrape or bore through pod walls into the developing seeds.
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- Monitor the crop regularly.
- Spray with Bt o neem extracts or other plant extracts. It is very important to apply them before the young caterpillars enter into the pods. Once the caterpillars have entered the pods they are difficult to control and by then they have caused damage. Since the period between hatching to entering the pods is very short it is very important to monitor the crop frequently.