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Brown Planthopper

Brown Planthopper

Nilaparvata lugens


In a Nutshell

    High population densities of the brown planthopper infest rice and suck the plant sapWhite crescent-shaped white eggs are found into the midrib or leaf sheathwhite and brown adults feed near the base of the tillers

Hosts: %1$s

· Rice


The brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens infests rice and suck the plant sap. Under high population density it can cause leaves to initially turn orange-yellow before becoming brown and drying (hopperburn) and eventually kill the plant. The plants exposed to high density of the insect show crescent-shaped white eggs inserted into the midrib or leaf sheath. After hatching, white and brown nymphs and adults can be found feeding near the base of the tillers, producing sooty molds at the base of the plant.


Planthoppers can be a problem in rained and in irrigated wetland environments, during the reproductive stage of the rice plant. It also occurs in areas with continuous submerged conditions in the field, high shade, and humidity. Closed canopy of the rice plants, densely seeded crops, excessive use of nitrogen, and early season insecticide spraying (that destroy natural enemies) also favors insect development. Brown planhoppers are usually more abundant in the dry season than in the wet season. Insects can be monitored by bending over the plants slightly, and gently tapping them near the base, to see if planthoppers fall onto the water surface.

Biological Control

Biological treatments can be used at low population densities of the pest. Natural enemies of the brown planthopper include water striders, mirid bugs, spiders, and various egg parasitoids wasps and flies. The insect can be hold in check by flooding the seedbed, for a day, so that only the tips of seedlings are exposed (drowning). Alternatively, small seedbeds can be swept with a net to catch the insect.

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatments if available. Insecticides are only recommended if critical numbers are are found, or if more planthoppers than natural enemies are observed. Insecticides that can be used against the pest include buprofezin, dinotefuran, etofenprox, fenobucarb, fipronil, imidacloprid.

Preventive Measures

    Use resistant varieties availableUse light traps such as electric bulbs or kerosene lamps near a light colored wall or over a pan of waterAvoid indiscriminate insecticide use to favor beneficial insectsLook for insects daily in the seedbed or in the field, on stems and the water surfaceFlood the seedbed to drown the insectSweep small seedbeds with a net to catch the insectPlant fields of a same area at the same period to avoid outbreaksRemove weeds from the field and surroundings regularlyAvoid overdosing nitrogen applications