TFS 08-Integrated Pest Management for Eggplant Fruit and Shoot Borer

Technology fact sheet

31 Oct 2014

Key Facts

  • Package of protective measures to control eggplant fruit and shoot borer.
  • Reduces costs of crop protection, pesticide use and possible health hazards for growers and consumers.
  • Increases net income.

This graph summarizes the results of a sustainability assessment conducted for this technology. The closer the line is to the outer edge of the diagram, the better the technology performs in terms of the particular criterion


  • Eggplant fruit and shoot borer (EFSB) is the most destructive eggplant pest causing widespread crop loss. The larvae bore inside fruits and shoots within hours of hatching, which makes them inaccessible to surface pesticides. Hence, farmers have to frequently spray chemical pesticides to kill the EFSB larvae before they enter the fruits or shoots. Farmers often harvest and sell eggplant on the same day as spraying the pesticide without observing the specified waiting period after pesticide application. Pesticide residues on vegetables are a threat to human health.
  • This Integrated Pest Management (IPM) package involves a community-based approach using healthy seedlings of resistant cultivars, prompt removal of infected fruits and shoots, the use of pheromone traps to kill male adult moths continuously, non-use of chemical pesticides to allow natural enemies of pests to thrive, and post-harvest field sanitation measures to prevent carry-over of the infestation into the next season.
  • The IPM package is a strategy to control EFSB without the use of chemical pesticides, thereby decreasing farmers' production costs and protecting both environmental and human health.



  • Over the past 20 years, EFSB has increasingly infested eggplant crops.
  • Due to intensive pesticide use, EFSB has developed resistance to some chemicals, necessitating use of more toxic insecticides.
  • Multiple strategies to control EFSB have been piloted in past decades, but due to highly stratified testing scenarios, no comprehensive pest management strategy was developed until recently.
  • From 2000 to 2005, AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center developed, validated and promoted an IPM strategy to combat EFSB infestations in South Asia in collaboration with national agricultural research and extension specialists from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and the UK Natural Resources Institute.


Where it works

  • The IPM package to control EFSB can be implemented, in both summer and winter production cycles, in all climatic regions where beneficial populations of native EFSB enemies are found (such as the EFSB larval parasitoid Trathala flavo-orbitalis present in several South Asian countries).
  • Typical adopters are rural smallholders.


Technological aspects

  • Avoid eggplant monoculture and use crop rotation. The new eggplant crop must be sown in a field that did not have eggplant or related crops (like tomato and potato) planted in the previous season.
  • Only healthy, uninfected seedlings should be transplanted to the field. If the seedling nursery is close to an infected field, EFSB may lay eggs on the seedlings before transplantation. Seedlings can be grown under netting to ensure there is no infestation (Figure 1).
  • One of four types of pheromone trap can be used: delta, winged, water trough or funnel. Traps are chosen based on commercial availability, availability of local materials for construction, durability and ease of upkeep. For a detailed guide on traps, see AVRDC (2004).
  • Pheromone traps are set up in a 10 m grid (density: 100 per ha), starting 5 m from the field border, 3 to 4 weeks after transplantation and maintained until harvest. These should hang just above the plant canopy and should be moved up as the plants grow taller.
  • All traps contain a 2 mg pheromone sample as lure for male moths [100:1 proportion of (E)-11-hexadecenyl acetate to (E)-11-hexadecen-1-ol]. The lures need to be replaced every month.
  • A number of companies in South Asia are producing EFSB pheromone products and lures. In India, these include Indore Biotech, the National Research Institute (NRI), Agriland Biotech, Ganesh Biocontrol, Pest Control India, Margo Biocontrols, A.G. Biosystems, Basarass Biocontrol and Biotech International. Companies in Bangladesh have also started manufacturing EFSB pheromone products. 
  • Testing of different products and constant field evaluation under local conditions is recommended to ensure high efficiency.
  • Delta traps (left) and winged traps (right) have a sticky bottom surface to trap moths; the surface should be replaced when it is no longer sticky because it is covered with dust or insect parts (Figure 2).
  • The water trough is a simple homemade trap. It requires a clear plastic container (an empty water bottle can also be used), a pheromone lure and soapy water; it can be used over many seasons (Figure 3).
  • The funnel trap (developed for trapping tomato fruitworm or cotton bollworm and easily available commercially) contains a sturdy plastic funnel top with the lure and a long plastic bag to trap moths; needs minimal upkeep and may last multiple seasons (Figure 4).
  • Fields must be monitored weekly throughout the growing season. Wilted shoots must be removed and burned or shredded immediately.
  • To encourage growth of populations of beneficial natural enemies, chemical pesticides should not be used as long as possible. If necessary, biological pesticides such as Neem (Azadirachta indica)-based products can be used.
  • To prevent carry-over of EFSB into the next season, all crop residues must be dug out of the soil, cleaned from the field and destroyed after harvest – either burned, shredded or buried at least 20 cm underground.
  • To reduce immigration of adult pests into IPM eggplant fields, community-wide implementation of the above described measures is necessary.