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Rodents and Bird pests
By
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD.
Assistant Professor (Entomology)
JSACAT
Affiliated to Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
Class : Mammalia
Order : Rodentia
India
• 43 genera,
• 4 families,
• 104 (14) Sps. economically important
• 40 % of mammals
• One pair of Chisel shaped ‘incisors.
Rodents
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Mole rat or Lesser bandicoot rat, Bandicota bengalensis
• Head - round and broad muzzle
• Tail -shorter than head, body
• Prefers damp areas
• Burrows with scooped soil
before entrance
• Potential rat, one pair can
produce more than 800
offsprings in one year
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Larger bandicoot rat, Bandicota indica
• Heavily built body. Weight 500-
l000g, even more
• Widely distributed in India
• Lives near buildings, storage
structures
• Breeding from Sept.-March
• Extensive damage to flooring
• Tail equal to head and body length
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Grass rat, Millardia meltada
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
• Grass rat is smaller in size, dark brownish grey
above and pale grey below with soft fur.
• Head and body is about 13 cm long and tail 10 cm
long.
• Usually more than one adult rat occupies a single
burrow.
• It attacks rice in all stages and feeds upon young
germinating grains, cuts and feeds on tender
seedlings and also grown up plants.
• It damages green cotton bolls in black cotton soils
Indian Gerbil, Tatera indica
• Tail - longer than head and body
• Eyes - larger rounded ears and black tuft
• Distributed throughout India
• Burrows - zig-zag shape with 2 - 4 openings
• Gregarious, damage to seeds of nuts and
fruits
• Reservoir for plague. Destructive to grains
• Brownish grey in colour - white under side
• Head and body - 18 cm.
• Tail longer than head and body
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Common house rat, Rattus rattus rufescens
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
• It is brownish grey with a dark
undersurface and feed on all kind of
vegetables and animal foods.
• It lives in roofs of houses and underground
burrows.
• Damage is great in warehouses and storage
godowns.
Common rat, Rattus rattus wroughtoni
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
• Common rat is reddish or yellowish brown
with a pure white belly.
• It is destructive to tender coconuts. It lives
and breeds inside nests, specially constructed
in the crowns of the palms.
• In closely planted gardens it can jump from
palm to palm.
• It bites holes through the husk and drinks the
sweet liquid, spoiled nuts fall down in large
numbers
Indian field mouse, Mus booduga
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
• Body of the Indian field mouse is about 5
to 8 cm long with 5 cm long tail.
• It is brown incolour with a white belly.
• It burrows in field bunds causing extensive
damage to bunds resulting in wastage of
water.
• It cuts and removes grains from rice crop.
Brown spiny field mouse, Mus platythrix
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
• Body is small, fur crisp and tends to be spiny,
grayer basally, browner terminally, dark
brown to pale brown above, under part with a
clear line of demarcation along the sides
• Tail stout averaging below 90 per cent of the
length of the body.
• It feeds on grains and grasses
House mouse, Mus musculus
• Body very small, stout tail, bicolour-longer than 90% of
length of head and body. Dark above and white below.
• Adult droppings -6 mm long, and rod shaped with
pointed ends, but without ridges. Brown to gray in
colour. Distributed throughout country
• Prefers residential premises/ storage
• Nocturnal and fossorial. Breeds throughout year
• Feeds on grains, grass. Destructive in houses, stores,
godowns, poultry farms.
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
BIRD SPECIES AS PESTS OF CROPS
• House sparrow: Passer domesticus
• Parrot: Psittacula eupatria; P. krameri; P. cyanocephala
• Crow: Corvus splendens
• Pigeon: Columba livia
• Peacock: Pava cristatus
Bulbul: Pycnonotus cafer
Baya: Ploceus philippinus
Myna: Acridothares tristis
Wild duck: Pterocyanea discors
Green bee eater: Merops orientalis
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
It is omnivorous, eats grain, insects, fruit buds,
flower nectar and kitchen scraps.
It causes severe damage to sorghum, smaller
millet, wheat, rice and small succulent fruits
both under field conditions and in storage.
It usually lives and build its nest in a hole in
ceiling niche in wall, inverted lamp shaped and
every site within or without an occupied
building.
House sparrow: Passer domesticus
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Parrot is one of the most familiar of indian birds.
They often band into large flocks.
It is highly destructive at all times to crop and
orchard fruit, gnawing and wasting far more that
it actually eats and cause heavy damage to
agricultural and horticultural crops specially to
sunflower, maize, sorghum, smaller millets,
wheat, gram, pea, guava, jamun, mango, papaya
and other fruits.
Parrot: Psittacula eupatria; P. krameri; P. cyanocephala
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
It is the most familiar bird of Indian towns and villages.
Live in close association to man and obtain livelihood
from man works.
They cause heavy damage to maturing of ripe crops of
agricultural and horticultural importance especially to
sorghum, groundnut, wheat, chillies, smaller millets,
papaya, mango, guava, etc.
Besides they are a menace to poultry farming as they
take away young chicken and eggs.
It is also a useful scavenger
Crow: Corvus splendens
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
It is a grey coloured bird with its neck and upper
breast of a greenish, purple and mangenta sheen.
Two dark bars on the wings and a band across the tail
are prominent.
The pigeons can be commonly seen on old buildings,
churches, temples, railway stations, warehouses, etc.
They are well adapted to noisy places.
They fly to threshing floors, grain fields, and pick up
grains.
Since they fly in large numbers, the losses are higher.
Pigeon: Columba livia
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Bulbul is found throughout India.
They are common in gardens and light
scrub jungles, both near and away from
human habitations.
Large numbers collect to feed on grain
crops, newly sprouting vegetables and
fruits and termite swarms.
Bulbul: Pycnonotus cafer
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Insects form major source of natural food for birds. Many orders of these birds feed
entirely on insects. This list includes swifts, night jars, drangos, bee eaters, pittas, tits,
woodpeckers, swallows, babblers, flycatchers, wagtails and pipits
Several species of bulbuls, mynas and starlings, rollers and hoopoes are insectivores.
Other birds like kingfishers, storks, herans, egrets, lapwings, kites, falcons, eagles,
merlins, terns, owls, blackbirds, chats, thrushes, cuckoos, koels, malkohas, magpies,
tree creepers, robins, fowls, jays, minivets, chloropses, pastors and other also make
insects part of their diet.
Even such birds like sparrows, bayas and munias feed their chicks with intect diet. It
was observed that even the nectar feeding sunbirds feed on many soft bodied insects
such as scales, aphids and psyllids.
Insectivorous birds
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Under natural conditions various species of wood
peckers could control following, bark and stem
borers effectively such as cerambycid borers which
attack mango, jack, cashew, citrus species, silk
cotton, ornamental trees.
Woodpeckers also destroy bark borers (caterpillars
of Indarbela tetraonis and Indarbela quadrinotata)
which attack barks and bark tissues of mango, jack,
sapota and other ornamental trees.
Woodpeckers also destroy arboreal termites to a
larger extent.
Wood peckers
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Common crow (Corvus splendens) and
Jungle crow (Corvus macrorhynchos)
have great potential in managing the
Cassio defoliator.
Leaf webbers of mango and sapota are
often checked by these insect feeding
birds
Common crows
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Include babblers, mynas, nightjars, crows, pheasants, partidges, quails,
lapwings drangos, rollers, robing, magpie robin, herons and egrets, hoopoes,
wagtails, pipits, thrushes, jungle fowls, peafowls, pittas, snipes and frogmouths.
Birds feeding on terrestrial and other soil inhabiting pests
Bee eaters, drangos and fly catchers are more harmful to honey bees and cause
problems to commercial apiculture by heavy predation of honey bees
Birds feeding on airborne and other flying insects
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Locusts
• Locusts – Species of short-horned grasshoppers in the family Acrididae that have a
swarming phase (Gregarious phase)
• The forms solitaria (remains scattered) and gregaria (remain in groups) are connected
by intermediate forms termed transiens
• Three major species in India
• Dessert locust – Schistocera gregaria
• Bombay locust – Patanga succinata
• Migratory locust – Locusta migratoria
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
• The mature female drills a hole in the
moist sandy area, lays the eggs in a
cluster and covers them with a frothy
secretion
• A female may oviposit thrice at
weekly interval and in a square meter
area 1000 pods can be noticed
• After hatching, there are 5 nymphal
instars which turns into adults in 4-6
weeks
• Adults swarm in large numbers and
settle on vegetation and destroy the
standing crop
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
Locusts are voracious feeders, each adult, consuming own weight of vegetation
daily.
Management
Swarm monitoring
• Geographic information system (GIS) which combines many layers of data on
locusts/grasshoppers and their habitats to provide more accurate forecasts
Breeding sites (Scheduled Desert Area)
• Earthing-up and destruction of egg pods during winter season, as the incubation
period is prolonged to 70 days
Curative measures
• Blanket sprays of insecticides as barrier treatments for control of hopper bands of
locusts. Flame throwers can be used.
Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)

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  • 1. Rodents and Bird pests By Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. Assistant Professor (Entomology) JSACAT Affiliated to Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
  • 2. Class : Mammalia Order : Rodentia India • 43 genera, • 4 families, • 104 (14) Sps. economically important • 40 % of mammals • One pair of Chisel shaped ‘incisors. Rodents Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
  • 3. Mole rat or Lesser bandicoot rat, Bandicota bengalensis • Head - round and broad muzzle • Tail -shorter than head, body • Prefers damp areas • Burrows with scooped soil before entrance • Potential rat, one pair can produce more than 800 offsprings in one year Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
  • 4. Larger bandicoot rat, Bandicota indica • Heavily built body. Weight 500- l000g, even more • Widely distributed in India • Lives near buildings, storage structures • Breeding from Sept.-March • Extensive damage to flooring • Tail equal to head and body length Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
  • 5. Grass rat, Millardia meltada Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) • Grass rat is smaller in size, dark brownish grey above and pale grey below with soft fur. • Head and body is about 13 cm long and tail 10 cm long. • Usually more than one adult rat occupies a single burrow. • It attacks rice in all stages and feeds upon young germinating grains, cuts and feeds on tender seedlings and also grown up plants. • It damages green cotton bolls in black cotton soils
  • 6. Indian Gerbil, Tatera indica • Tail - longer than head and body • Eyes - larger rounded ears and black tuft • Distributed throughout India • Burrows - zig-zag shape with 2 - 4 openings • Gregarious, damage to seeds of nuts and fruits • Reservoir for plague. Destructive to grains • Brownish grey in colour - white under side • Head and body - 18 cm. • Tail longer than head and body Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
  • 7. Common house rat, Rattus rattus rufescens Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) • It is brownish grey with a dark undersurface and feed on all kind of vegetables and animal foods. • It lives in roofs of houses and underground burrows. • Damage is great in warehouses and storage godowns.
  • 8. Common rat, Rattus rattus wroughtoni Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) • Common rat is reddish or yellowish brown with a pure white belly. • It is destructive to tender coconuts. It lives and breeds inside nests, specially constructed in the crowns of the palms. • In closely planted gardens it can jump from palm to palm. • It bites holes through the husk and drinks the sweet liquid, spoiled nuts fall down in large numbers
  • 9. Indian field mouse, Mus booduga Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) • Body of the Indian field mouse is about 5 to 8 cm long with 5 cm long tail. • It is brown incolour with a white belly. • It burrows in field bunds causing extensive damage to bunds resulting in wastage of water. • It cuts and removes grains from rice crop.
  • 10. Brown spiny field mouse, Mus platythrix Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) • Body is small, fur crisp and tends to be spiny, grayer basally, browner terminally, dark brown to pale brown above, under part with a clear line of demarcation along the sides • Tail stout averaging below 90 per cent of the length of the body. • It feeds on grains and grasses
  • 11. House mouse, Mus musculus • Body very small, stout tail, bicolour-longer than 90% of length of head and body. Dark above and white below. • Adult droppings -6 mm long, and rod shaped with pointed ends, but without ridges. Brown to gray in colour. Distributed throughout country • Prefers residential premises/ storage • Nocturnal and fossorial. Breeds throughout year • Feeds on grains, grass. Destructive in houses, stores, godowns, poultry farms. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
  • 12. BIRD SPECIES AS PESTS OF CROPS • House sparrow: Passer domesticus • Parrot: Psittacula eupatria; P. krameri; P. cyanocephala • Crow: Corvus splendens • Pigeon: Columba livia • Peacock: Pava cristatus Bulbul: Pycnonotus cafer Baya: Ploceus philippinus Myna: Acridothares tristis Wild duck: Pterocyanea discors Green bee eater: Merops orientalis Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
  • 13. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) It is omnivorous, eats grain, insects, fruit buds, flower nectar and kitchen scraps. It causes severe damage to sorghum, smaller millet, wheat, rice and small succulent fruits both under field conditions and in storage. It usually lives and build its nest in a hole in ceiling niche in wall, inverted lamp shaped and every site within or without an occupied building. House sparrow: Passer domesticus
  • 14. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) Parrot is one of the most familiar of indian birds. They often band into large flocks. It is highly destructive at all times to crop and orchard fruit, gnawing and wasting far more that it actually eats and cause heavy damage to agricultural and horticultural crops specially to sunflower, maize, sorghum, smaller millets, wheat, gram, pea, guava, jamun, mango, papaya and other fruits. Parrot: Psittacula eupatria; P. krameri; P. cyanocephala
  • 15. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) It is the most familiar bird of Indian towns and villages. Live in close association to man and obtain livelihood from man works. They cause heavy damage to maturing of ripe crops of agricultural and horticultural importance especially to sorghum, groundnut, wheat, chillies, smaller millets, papaya, mango, guava, etc. Besides they are a menace to poultry farming as they take away young chicken and eggs. It is also a useful scavenger Crow: Corvus splendens
  • 16. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) It is a grey coloured bird with its neck and upper breast of a greenish, purple and mangenta sheen. Two dark bars on the wings and a band across the tail are prominent. The pigeons can be commonly seen on old buildings, churches, temples, railway stations, warehouses, etc. They are well adapted to noisy places. They fly to threshing floors, grain fields, and pick up grains. Since they fly in large numbers, the losses are higher. Pigeon: Columba livia
  • 17. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) Bulbul is found throughout India. They are common in gardens and light scrub jungles, both near and away from human habitations. Large numbers collect to feed on grain crops, newly sprouting vegetables and fruits and termite swarms. Bulbul: Pycnonotus cafer
  • 18. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) Insects form major source of natural food for birds. Many orders of these birds feed entirely on insects. This list includes swifts, night jars, drangos, bee eaters, pittas, tits, woodpeckers, swallows, babblers, flycatchers, wagtails and pipits Several species of bulbuls, mynas and starlings, rollers and hoopoes are insectivores. Other birds like kingfishers, storks, herans, egrets, lapwings, kites, falcons, eagles, merlins, terns, owls, blackbirds, chats, thrushes, cuckoos, koels, malkohas, magpies, tree creepers, robins, fowls, jays, minivets, chloropses, pastors and other also make insects part of their diet. Even such birds like sparrows, bayas and munias feed their chicks with intect diet. It was observed that even the nectar feeding sunbirds feed on many soft bodied insects such as scales, aphids and psyllids. Insectivorous birds
  • 19. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) Under natural conditions various species of wood peckers could control following, bark and stem borers effectively such as cerambycid borers which attack mango, jack, cashew, citrus species, silk cotton, ornamental trees. Woodpeckers also destroy bark borers (caterpillars of Indarbela tetraonis and Indarbela quadrinotata) which attack barks and bark tissues of mango, jack, sapota and other ornamental trees. Woodpeckers also destroy arboreal termites to a larger extent. Wood peckers
  • 20. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) Common crow (Corvus splendens) and Jungle crow (Corvus macrorhynchos) have great potential in managing the Cassio defoliator. Leaf webbers of mango and sapota are often checked by these insect feeding birds Common crows
  • 21. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) Include babblers, mynas, nightjars, crows, pheasants, partidges, quails, lapwings drangos, rollers, robing, magpie robin, herons and egrets, hoopoes, wagtails, pipits, thrushes, jungle fowls, peafowls, pittas, snipes and frogmouths. Birds feeding on terrestrial and other soil inhabiting pests Bee eaters, drangos and fly catchers are more harmful to honey bees and cause problems to commercial apiculture by heavy predation of honey bees Birds feeding on airborne and other flying insects
  • 22. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) Locusts • Locusts – Species of short-horned grasshoppers in the family Acrididae that have a swarming phase (Gregarious phase) • The forms solitaria (remains scattered) and gregaria (remain in groups) are connected by intermediate forms termed transiens • Three major species in India • Dessert locust – Schistocera gregaria • Bombay locust – Patanga succinata • Migratory locust – Locusta migratoria
  • 23. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology) • The mature female drills a hole in the moist sandy area, lays the eggs in a cluster and covers them with a frothy secretion • A female may oviposit thrice at weekly interval and in a square meter area 1000 pods can be noticed • After hatching, there are 5 nymphal instars which turns into adults in 4-6 weeks • Adults swarm in large numbers and settle on vegetation and destroy the standing crop
  • 24. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)
  • 25. Locusts are voracious feeders, each adult, consuming own weight of vegetation daily. Management Swarm monitoring • Geographic information system (GIS) which combines many layers of data on locusts/grasshoppers and their habitats to provide more accurate forecasts Breeding sites (Scheduled Desert Area) • Earthing-up and destruction of egg pods during winter season, as the incubation period is prolonged to 70 days Curative measures • Blanket sprays of insecticides as barrier treatments for control of hopper bands of locusts. Flame throwers can be used. Dr. U. Pirithiraj, P.hD. (Entomology)