Tea World

Lesson 21

Tea Pests

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Tea plants are evergreen and perennial that is cultivated mostly as a monoculture. Tea plantation thus provides a suitable condition for the pests to feed on and breed. It supplies plenty of food for the pests throughout the year and there is no problem of suitable host for them for breeding. Many species of insects, mites and nematodes infest tea plants and cause damage to the plant. Pest damage in tea often leads to a significant impact on productivity, in both short term and long term. About 300 species of insects, mites and nematodes are active in tea areas but all of them are not economically important.

Tea Pests

The number of pests found in the old tea growing countries of Asia viz. China, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia is much higher than those in Africa and other countries which started growing tea in more recent times.

The following table shows the mean number of tea pests occurring in different regions of the world.

Global section


No. of Pest

North Asia

China , Japan, Korea


South Asia

Bangladesh, Myanmar, India, Indonesia, Malaysia,   Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam


East Africa

Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda


South America

Argentina, Brazil, Peru


Different pests infest various part of the tea plant, i.e. the leaves, stem, root, flowers, but the maximum number of pests occurs on the foliage. The important pests of tea which attack different parts of the plant and thereby cause economic loss shall be discussed.  The pests may be sucking pest, chewing or leaf eating in nature.

In this lesson, you will learn about the major tea pests which are found in different tea growing countries.

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