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How to prevent/avoid pest & insect attacks on the onion?


To begin with, the Onion is a versatile crop. Further, they are also used widely for several reasons. Irrespective of cuisine onions are generally used in all kinds of cooking. They add flavor to any dish. 

In addition to this, there is a common belief that onions don’t get infected by pests. But contrary to this belief even onions do get infected with pests and insects. However, with the right help, these pests can be controlled. Several companies in India like Agrifi offer loans to help people willing to grow crops. 

What kind of pests or insects attack onion?

As mentioned earlier in the article, Onions are a robust crop. They are strong and cannot be easily destroyed. Further, onions are also easy to grow and maintain. But just like other crops onions also get attacked by pests or insects. So, we must protect the crop against such attacks. 

What kind of pests or insects attack onion?

Two main types of pests that can attack and destroy onion crops are as follows:

  1. Onion Fly

As the name suggests, the onion fly is one main type of pest that attacks the crop. It consists of both male and female specimens. These flies can destroy your yield in case no proper measures are taken. 

Furthermore, it is exciting how the onion fly attacks the crop. Onion flies spend most of their winter in the ground. But once the spring season starts they began their work. The female pests wake up and lay their eggs in the spring season. These eggs are laid inside the bulb of an onion. In some cases, the eggs can also be laid on the base of the plant. 

In a week the larvae take birth and settle on the bulb of the plant. They remain there depending on the outside temperature. The pest attacks the plants immediately. It feeds on the bulb weakening the crop. Further, the attack exposes the plant to bacteria and fungi and it begins to rot. 

Apart from this, one other important fact we need to consider is the cycle of females. The female onion fly can repeat 3-4 reproductive cycles in a year. Also, the first attack is deadly. As the bulb of the plant is young it can be easily destroyed.

      2. Thrips Fly

One other important pest that attacks the onion plant is the Thrips fly. The method of attack and destroying the crops by Thrips is similar to onion fly. Further, two kinds of Thrip flies need to be monitored. These are Frankliniella Occidentalis and Thrips tabaci. 

The Thrips Tabaci has a distinguished appearance. Further, the adult version of the fly is 0.03 to 0.07 inches long. It also consists of wings that are narrow, long, and fringed. These pests or insects live on the leaves of the onion plant. Just like onion flies, Thrips spend their winters in the ground. Later on, at the start of spring, the female Thrips lay eggs. This pest lay its eggs inside the onion leaves. 

Furthermore, a week after the eggs are laid, Nymph emerges. The nymph so emerged and began attacking the tissues of the onion plant. Apart from Nymph the remaining stages of the pest also attack the tissue of the plant. This leads to de-pigmentation. They are also responsible for the formation of spots on the green leaves of the plant. Hence, the affected leaves with Thrips fly began to dry or fall off. One other drawback of the Thrips attack is the low yield of the plant. It is because since they attack the leaves it reduces photosynthesis. Hence, plants cannot produce a lot of onion or yield which results in a loss.

How do prevent attacks from pests? 

The above part of the article dealt with two main types of pests that attack onions. Hereinafter let’s see different ways to prevent this attack. 

  1. The first tip to prevent pests attack on onion crops is to plant them late in the season. Delayed planting of the crops prevents attacks from pests. Furthermore, in winter the two main pests that attack onions are in-ground. So it provides ample time to grow the plant without worrying about pests.
  2. The next tip that helps in preventing the attack of pests is the place of growing. Onions must be cultivated in a well-drained and aerated soil. If this way the soil and the plant will have good exposure to the sun. Hence, it helps in preventing the attack from pests.
  3. One other way to prevent pests is turning the soil. The main reason for turning soil or repeated hoeing is to limit the presence of onion flies. Apart from this, frequent irrigation of soil also helps in the prevention of attacks. It is important to do repeated irrigation during the vegetative phase.
  4. The fourth vital way to prevent pests from attacking onions is using organic compost. Several Indian organic companies provide the best organic compost to protect from pests. Further, you can also consider crop loans to maintain the growth of the plants. Agrifi offers crop loans to farmers. They include digital tracking of loans through the KrishiKhata app. 
  5. Additionally, the best way to prevent pest control is the use of a rustic variety of crops. When planting onion crops use the variety that is robust to withstand damage. Also, follow crop rotation techniques when cultivating. This maintains the fertility of the soil and also helps in pest prevention.
  6. One other simple way to prevent pest attacks on onions is growing companion crops. Make sure to plant other crops like carrots and celery. These plants release natural pests repellent that prevents insect attacks on onion crops.

Bottom line 

To sum it up, Onions are the most used vegetable in cooking any kind of food. However, even onions get attacked by pests and insects. Here in the article, we have discussed to main pests that attack onions. The article also includes steps to be taken to prevent such attacks.