Spiny Bollworm, Earias insulana

Spiny bollworm is an important economic insect of cotton.

Earias insulana is widely distributed from China, India, Middle-East as well as north and eastern Africa. Some parts of the Americas also affected by it. The Caterpillars bore into tender shoots, flower buds and fruits. As a result, the shoots dry, flower buds and fruits drop prematurely.

Russell IPM manufacture and supply pheromone lures, traps and complete monitoring systems for Spiny bollworm  Earias insulana. Pheromone trap data gives early warning of the infestation and also exhibits the density of the insect population.


The caterpillar grows to a length of 15-18 mm long and is greyish with black spots and markings. Note the characteristic spines on the body. The adult moth has a wingspan of 20-22 mm. The wings are straw coloured with a few distinct lines across the front wings   are reported to have green wings or fields of green across the wings. The colour depends on temperature and other environmental factors.

Nature of Damage

The Caterpillars bore into tender shoots, flower buds and fruits. As a result, the shoots dry, flower buds & fruits drop prematurely. Fruits remaining on the plants get deformed and often show exist holes of the larvae.


Russell IPM manufactures and supplies pheromone lure – the Qlure, traps and complete monitoring systems for  Earias insulana, Spiny Bollworm.

Pheromone trap data gives early warning of the infestation and will also alert the user to a low level of population before it becomes serious.

The lure can be best applied with the Mothcatcher trap or Delta trap.

Application Guidelines

Lures can be changed every 4-6 weeks to get the most accurate results.

Lures Handling
Pheromone lures are a very sensitive tool. They can be affected by exposure to elevated heat and direct sunshine. Direct touching by hand may cause cross contamination leading to mixed catches in the trap. Some contaminants such as Nicotine May have repellent effect reducing trap catch.

Lure Storage

Store in a cool dry place. Shelf life can vary from 3-36 months depending on the storage temperature. See Technical Data Sheet for further details.

Trap Selection

The Deltra trap is the most sensitive trap to use for monitoring this insect. However, Moth catcher may be used in dusty conditions or in high moth population density.

Trap Density

Do not re-use the trap to monitor different insects as this may lead to mixed catches. One trap for every two hectares of large scale fields of homogenous lands.

Two traps per hectare (2trap/ha) for small holdings and in field of uneven topography.

Trap Position

Place traps near the highest point of the plant using supporting posts approximately 1 meter high, or higher if the crop is higher.

Data and Interpretation

Collect data weekly from the start of the flight of the over wintering generation. During the height of the population more frequent reading may be needed. Decisions on pesticide application should not be taken solely on the trap catch data. Climatic and biological considerations should be taken in account.

No results found.