Agriculture experts have advised growers to be vigilant of dusky cotton and red cotton bugs and asked them to consult experts for their in timely control in the cotton belt, particularly from September to November.

Timely control on the bugs is vital to get enhanced production of good quality cotton, agriculture department said in a statement.  The bugs not only suck juice from flowers and bolls but also leave dark spots on lint compromising its quality.

 A agriculture spokesman said the country faced loss worth billions of rupees every year due to production of low quality cotton and added that timely pest control was also necessary in addition to clean picking of cotton, clean storage and proper transportation arrangements to get good quality fibre.   Explaining how dusky cotton bug and red cotton bug damage the crop, experts said that adult and pupae of the bugs suck juice from green bolls by piercing their needle into the bolls.  This triggers fungi and bacterial attack on seed and white fibre, restricting full opening of bolls and thus low yield of compromised quality cotton.

Waste left by bugs contaminates cotton or the pests left in it leave dark spots on cotton during ginning process, experts said.  They said that oil content in seed becomes low in case of intense attack which affects germination strength of seed.

The bugs attack cotton in low temperature and humid atmosphere and growers should be cautious against these bugs from September to November.