Helopeltis theivora

  • The United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI) has raised concerns over heavy crop losses in all the tea districts of South India due to the rapid spread of the bug- Helopeltis theivora.
  • Tea production in India is under threat due to the infestation of the Tea Mosquito Bug (TMB).
  • The Tea Mosquito Bug (Helopeltis theivora) is a common pest that sucks the sap from the tender parts of tea plants, leading to heavy crop losses.
  • It also damages the plants by inserting eggs into their tissues.
  • TMB has affected both low and high-elevation tea plantations.

Current Scenario

  • The Tea Board of India removed several pesticides from its approved list of Plant Protection Code (PPC) to make Indian teas free from harmful pesticides.
  • Currently, only seven pesticides are approved for use in South India under the PPC, and tea growers are unable to achieve effective control of the pest.
  • The UPASI has sought government approval to use effective molecules that have been evaluated and approved by the Central Insecticide Board & Registration Committee(CIBRC) for other crops in India and have minimum residue levels for tea.


  • The CIBRC was established by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1970 to regulate insecticides under the Insecticides Act, 1968 and Insecticides Rules, 1971.
  • The CIBRC advises the government on technical matters and has other assigned functions.
  • Insecticide importers and manufacturers need to register with the Registration Committee.
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