Pests of Wheat

  • Neeta Gaur
  • Swathi Mogalapu


Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is an important cereal crop cultivated all over the world and consumed by nearly 35% of the world population. It harbours nearly two dozen of insects; among them only half a dozen of insect pests, like aphids, termites, army worm, pink stem borer, pod borer and Ghujhia weevil, attain the major pest status. They damage wheat crop from sowing to maturity stage. This chapter describes about distribution, host plants, identification, biology, damaging symptoms of insect pests and various control measures adopted for management of insect pests to enhance the productivity.


Defoliation Dead heart Chaffy grains White ear Termitarium 


  1. Agarwala BK, Ghosh AK (1984) A checklist of Aphididae of India. Rev Zool Surv India Occ 50:1–71Google Scholar
  2. Akhtar MS (1975) Taxonomy and zoogeography of the termites (Isoptera) of Bangladesh. Bull Dept Zool Univ Panjab (N B) 7:1–199Google Scholar
  3. Anonymous (2002) Integrated pest management for wheat. Directorate of Plant Protection and Quarantine, Faridabad, pp 1–28Google Scholar
  4. Anonymous (2016) Retrieved on 30th October, 2016
  5. Banerjee SN, Basu A (1953) Tanymecus indicus Fst., a new curculionid pest of paddy with suggestions for its control. Curr Sci 23(1):22Google Scholar
  6. Blackman RL, Eastop VF (2000) Aphids on the world’s crops: an identification and information guide, 2nd edn. Wiley, Chichester, x + 466 pp; 39 pp of referenceGoogle Scholar
  7. Blackman RL, Eastop VF (2006) Aphids on the world’s herbaceous plants and shrubs, vols 1 & 2. Wiley, Chichester, pp 1024–1439Google Scholar
  8. CABI (1967) Distribution maps of plant pests. CAB International, Nosworthy Way, Map 237Google Scholar
  9. CABI (2016) Sitobion avenae (wheat aphid). Retrieved on 28th December, 2016 from
  10. Chander S, Aggarwal PK, Kalra N, Swaruparani DN (2003) Changes in pest profiles in rice-wheat cropping system in Indo-gangetic plains. Ann Plant Protec Sci 11(2):258–263Google Scholar
  11. Chelliah A, Gupta GP, Karuppiah S, Kumar PA (2011) Chimeric d-endotoxins of Bacillus thuringiensis with increased activity against Helicoverpa armigera. Int J Trop Insect Sci 31:59–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chhillar BS, Saini RK, Roshanlal K (2006) Emerging trends in economic entomology. CCSHAU Press, Hissar, pp 191–192Google Scholar
  13. Cunningham JP, Zalucki MP (2014) Understanding Heliothinae (Lepidoptera: Heliothinae) pests: what is a host plant? J Econ Entomol 107:881–896CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Czepak C, Albernaz KC, Vivan LM, Guimaraes HO, Carvalhais T (2013) First record of occurrence of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Brazil. J Trop Agric 43:110–113Google Scholar
  15. Deol GS (2002) Latest trends for insect-pest management in wheat. In: Proceedings of the specialized workshop on identification and management of weeds, insect-pests and diseases in wheat, February 20–22, 2002, CETWPT, PAU, LudhianaGoogle Scholar
  16. Dubcovsky J, Dvorak J (2007) Genome plasticity a key factor in the success of polyploidy wheat under domestication. Science 316:1862–1866CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Feldman M (2001) Origin of cultivated wheat. In: Bonjean AP, Angus WJ (eds) The world wheat book: a history of wheat breeding. Lavoisier Publishing, Paris, pp 3–56Google Scholar
  18. Freier B, Triltsch H, Mowes M, Moll E (2007) The potential of predators in natural control of aphids in wheat. Biol Control 52(6):775–788Google Scholar
  19. Gerson U, Applebaum S (2014) Sitobion avenae (Fabricius). Plant pests of middle east. Retrieved January 7, 2017 from
  20. Hampson GF (1892) The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma moths, vol-ii. Digital Library of India, p 558. Retrieved 4 July 2016Google Scholar
  21. Jagshoran S, R. K, Tripathi SC (2004) New varieties and production. Hindu Survey Indian Agric 33–35Google Scholar
  22. Jenkins RL, Loxdale HD, Brooks CP, Dixon AFG (1999) The major carotenoid pigments of the grain aphid Sitobion avenae (F.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Physiol Entomol 24:171–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Khan AM, Khan AA, Afzal M, Iqbal MS (2012) Wheat crop yield losses caused by the aphids infestation. J Biofertil Biopestici 3:122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. King, A. B. S. 1994. Heliothis/Helicoverpa (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in: G. A. Matthews, J. P. Tunstall (eds), Insect pests of cotton. Wallingford: CAB International, 39-106Google Scholar
  25. Kolbe W, Linke W (1974) Studies of cereal aphids; their occurrence, effect on yield in relation to density levels and their control. Ann Appl Biol 77(1):85–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liu SY, Stoltz RL, Ni XZ (1986) Damage to wheat by Macrosiphum avenae (F.) (Homoptera: Aphididae) in northwest China. J Econ Entomol 79(6):1688–1691CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Liu X-F, Hu X-S, Keller MA, Zhao H-Y, Wu Y-F, Liu T-X (2014) Tripartite interactions of barley yellow dwarf virus, Sitobion avenae and wheat varieties. PLoS One 9(9):e106639CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Lorenz KJ, Kulp K (1991) Handbook of serial science and technology. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, pp 148–164Google Scholar
  29. Mane PN, Rathod PK, Wakode MM, Satpute NS, Deshmukh SN (2010) Gujhia weevil, Tanymecus indicus Fst. on Safflower in Vidarbha region. Karnatka J Agric Sci 23:110–111Google Scholar
  30. Marshall GAK (1916) The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Coleoptera. Rhynchophora: Curculionidae. Taylor & Francis Ltd, London, 368 ppGoogle Scholar
  31. Nair MRGK (1975) Insect and mite pests of South India. Indian Council of Agricultural Science, New Delhi, 405 ppGoogle Scholar
  32. NAS (1969) Insect-pest management and control. Nacional Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, p 1695, 508 pGoogle Scholar
  33. Nesbitt M (1998) Where was einkorn wheat domesticated? Trends Plant Sci 3:1360–1385Google Scholar
  34. NIPHM (2014) AESA based IPM package wheat. National Institute of Plant Health Management, Hyderabad, pp 1–72Google Scholar
  35. Pajni HR (1989) Studies on morphotaxonomy and cytotaxonomy of the Indian Curculionidae along with the ecology of the pest species. Final technical report (1984–89) to USDA-ARS. U.S.PL-480 research project IN-ARS-185, p 97Google Scholar
  36. Pant NC Kalode MP (1964) Pests of wheat, maize and millets. In: Entomology in India. Silver Jubilee number of the Indian Journal of Entomology, Entomological Society of India, New Delhi-l 2, pp 279–292Google Scholar
  37. Pardeshi MK, Kumar D, Bhattacharyya AK (2010) Termite (Insecta: Isoptera) fauna of some agricultural crops of Vadodara, Gujarat (India). Rec Zool Surv India 110(1):47–59Google Scholar
  38. Parihar DR (1981) Termite pests of vegetation in Rajasthan and their management, vol 16. Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, pp 1–37Google Scholar
  39. Paul AVN (2007) Insect pests and their management. Retrieved on 28th October, 2016
  40. Pimentel D, Houser J, Preiss E, White O, Fang H, Mesnick L, Barsky T, Tariche S, Schreck J, Alpert S (1997) Water resources: agriculture, the environment, and society. Biomed Sci 47(2):97–106Google Scholar
  41. Roonwal ML (1978) Vegetational distribution of termites of Rajsthan (India) and their economic importance. Proc Indian natn Sci Acad 44(B):320–329Google Scholar
  42. Roonwal ML (1979) Termite injuring crops, plantations and fruit and forest trees and their control. In: Termite life and termite control. Scientific Publication, Jodhpur, p 24Google Scholar
  43. Saleem M, Rashid A (2000) Helicoverpa armigera infestation on various wheat varieties. Ann Wheat Newsl 46:101–102Google Scholar
  44. Sharma HC, Davies JC (1983) The oriental armyworm, Mythimna separata (Wlk.) distribution, biology and control: a literature review. Centre for Overseas Pest Research, London, pp 1–26Google Scholar
  45. Sharma HC, Youm O (1999) Integrated pest management in pearl millet with special reference to host plant resistance to insects. In: Khairwal IS, Raj KN, Andrews DJ, Harinarayana G (eds) Pearl millet breeding. Oxford and IBH, New Delhi, pp 381–425Google Scholar
  46. Sharma HC, Sullivan DJ, Bhatnagar VS (2002) Population dynamics and natural mortality factors of the oriental armyworm, Mythimna separata. Crop Prot 21:721–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sharma SS, Chhillar BS, Dahiya KK (2003) Incidence of Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) in wheat. Ann Biol 19(2):219–220Google Scholar
  48. Sharma AK, Sahaan MS, Babu KS (2009) Wheat crop health. Newsletter 14(4):23–27Google Scholar
  49. Singh VS (1986) Management of insect and mite pests. In: Tandon JP, Sethi AP (eds) Twenty years of coordinated wheat research 1961–1986. ICAR, New Delhi, pp 158–188Google Scholar
  50. Singh VS (1998) Pest management in wheat. Indian Farming 1(48):47–50Google Scholar
  51. Singh B (2012) Incidence of the pink noctuid stem borer, Sesamia inferens (Walker), on wheat under two tillage conditions and three sowing dates in North-western Plains of India. J Entomol 9:368–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Singh S, Guram MS (1960) Occurrence of Tanymecus weevil in pest form in the Punjab and its control. Curr Sci 29(07):286Google Scholar
  53. Singh B, Kular JS (2015) Notes on the bionomics of the pink stem borer Sesamia inferens Walker (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): an upcoming pest of wheat in India. Acta Phytopathologica Et Entomologica Hungarica 50(2):239–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Singh R, Upadhyay BS, Singh D, Chaudhary HC (1999) Aphids (Homoptera: Aphididae) and their parasitoids in North-Eastern Uttar Pradesh. J Aphidol 13:49–62Google Scholar
  55. Singh SP, Ballal CR, Poorani J (2002) Old world bollworm Helicoverpa armigera, associated Heliothinae and their natural enemies. Bangalore, India, Project Directorate of Biological Control, Technical Bulletin. 31: iii: 135 ppGoogle Scholar
  56. Smeathman H (1781) Some account of termites which are found in Africa and other hot climates. Philos Trans 71:139–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Srivastava AS, Lal SS (1973) Survey of insect pests attacking wheat crop in Uttar Pradesh. Indian J Plant Protect 1(1):27–31Google Scholar
  58. Srivastava A, Singh R (2014) Systematics, nymphal characteristics and food plants of Sitobion (Sitobion) miscanthi (Takahashi) (Homoptera: Aphididae). Int J Res Stud Biosci 2(9):17–41Google Scholar
  59. Talekar NS, Opena RT, Hanson P (2006) H. armigera management: a review of AVRDC’s research on host plant resistance in tomato. Crop Prot 5:461–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tanwar RK, Prakash A, Panda SK, Swain NC, Garg DK, Singh SP, Kumar SS, Bambawale OM (2010) Rice swarming caterpillar (Spodoptera mauritia) and its management strategies, Technical Bulletin 24. National Centre for Integrated Pest Management, New Delhi, pp 1–18Google Scholar
  61. Tay WT, Soria MF, Walsh T, Thomazoni D, Silvie P, Gajanan TB, Sharon D (2013) A brave new world for an Old World pest: Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Brazil. PLoS One 8:1–7Google Scholar
  62. USDA 2016. Retrieved on 30th October, 2016
  63. Venkateshalu, Murthy MS (2013) Outbreak of gujhia weevil, Tanymecus indicus (Faust) on pigeonpea in Yadgir district. Insect Environ 19(2):114Google Scholar
  64. Wei XP (1982) Observations on the life-cycle of Mythimna separata (Walker) and its natural enemies in western Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. Kunchong Zhishi 19(3):15–17Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neeta Gaur
    • 1
  • Swathi Mogalapu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyCollege of Agriculture, G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and TechnologyPantnagarIndia

Personalised recommendations