Black Pepper plants are not only attacked bu fungis and viruses, But also Insects. Pollu Beetle disease is one such disease, caused by Pollu beetle : Scientific Name – Longitarsus nigripennis . Its seen in plans and altitudes below 300m. The adult is a small black beetle measuring about 2.5 mm × 1.5 mm, the head and thorax being yellowish brown and the fore wings (elytra) black. Fully – grown grubs are creamy – white and measure about 5 mm in length.
pollu beetle is the major pest of Black Pepper
The adult beetles feed and damage tender leaves and spikes. The females lay eggs on tender spikes and berries. The grubs bore into and feed on the internal tissues and the infested spikes turn black and decay. The infested berries also turn black and crumble when pressed. The term pollu denotes the hollow nature of the infested berries in Malayalam. The pest infestation is more serious in shaded areas in the plantation. The pest population is higher during September – October in the field.
Regulation of shade in the plantation reduces the population of the pest in the field.Spraying quinalphos (0.05%) during June – July and September – October or quinalphos (0.05%) during July and Neemgold (0.6%) (neem – based insecticide) during August, September and October is effective for the management of the pest. The underside of leaves (where adults are generally seen) and spikes are to be sprayed thoroughly.