The combinations of vermiwash with bio-pesticides- A boon for crop productivity


Keshav Singh*, Shesh Nath

Vermibiotecnology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, D. D. U. Gorakhpur University,

Gorakhpur-273 009 U.P. India.

*Corresponding Author E-mail:



Imbalance use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has posed a serious threat to the environment, animal and human health and also cause disturbance to the soil ecosystem. The biological wastes include those wastes which are produced by living being, either in the form of agricultural wastes, municipal solid wastes, kitchen wastes or animal excreta. The biological wastes are serious problem for society. The vermicomposting is the suitable way for proper management of biological wastes and production of vermicompost. The vermicompost is the best alternative of synthetic chemical fertilizers because it is eco-friendly, less-expensive and no hazardous to human, animal and environment. The vermicompost prepared from the different combinations of feed materials of buffalo dung with gram bran and water hyacinth wastes with the help of earthworm Eisenia fetida and liquid bio-fertilizer vermiwash were extracted with the help of vermiwash collecting device. The different combinations of extracted vermiwash were mixed with different biopestcides like garlic bulb, neem plant part and neem based bio-pesticides. The effect of foliar application of vermiwash with bio-pesticides on the growth, flowering, and productivity of Cicer aritinum and Cajanus cajanas well as pest infestation of Helicoverpa armigera were observed. The foliar application of vermiwash with bio-pesticides increased the growth, productivity, early flowering and reduces the pest infestation of Helicoverpa armigera.The vermiwash with garlic bulb extract have significant growth, productivity, early flowering and minimize the pest infestation of Helicoverpa armigera followed by vermiwash with neem oil.


KEYWORDS: Biological wastes, Earthworm, Eisenia fetida, Vermicomposting, Vermiwash, Crop productivity, Pest infestation, Helicoverpa armigera.




Continuous use of chemical fertilizers leads to decline the soil fertility, productivity of crops and micronutrients of soil (Manning, 2000; Peng et al., 2006). The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has posed a serious threat to the environment and also cause disturbance to the soil ecosystem (Mall et al., 2005; Sridhar et al., 2014). Industrial wastes like distillery effluents and sugar mill sludge caused environmental hazards and various ill effects on the human health (Pandey and Carney, 1994; Suthar and Singh, 2008). The harmful gases produced due to the microbial decomposition of wastes also cause odour problems (Michell, 1997; Gunadi et al., 2002; Gunadi and Edward, 2003; Garg et al., 2006). Reinecke et al.  (1992) reported that the solid wastes of textile mill, sugar mill, dairy plant sludge and municipal solid wastes are harmful to human beings and their cattle. Adebisi and Fayemiwo(2010)studied the physico-chemical properties of industrial effluents of food processing and determine the extent of industrial effluents pollution with the presence of toxic heavy metals.


Greater use of chemical fertilizers leads to very high concentration of some chemicals and metals, which ultimately affect the crops and watershed (Eghball and Gilley, 1999; Kpomblekou et al., 2002). Such agricultural practices are dangerous for soil fertility and conservation that may lead to desertification of the land (Brady and Weil, 2002). The excessive use of phosphatic, nitrogenous and potash fertilizers pollute the water and food items, causing serious health problems (Bhattacharya, 2004). High nitrate (NO3‾) concentration in water and foodstuff can cause gastric cancer in human body (Trivedi and Goel, 1984). It is strongly felt that adoption of ecological and sustainable farming practices can only reverse the decline trend in the global productivity and environmental protection (Bulluck and Ristaino, 2002). Chemical fertilizer enhance the level of heavy metals such as Cd, Pb and As in agricultural fields (Atafar et al.,2010).


The biological wastes are serious problem for society and caused various ill effects to the human health as well as the environment, if they are not properly managed (Kaviraj and Sharma, 2003; Bhattacharya and Chattopadhyay, 2004). Suthar et al. (2005) reported that 320 million tones of agricultural wastes are generated annually in India. Biological wastes include all type of wastes generated by living being, either in the form of agricultural wastes, municipal soild wastes, kitchen wastes or animal excreta. The microbial decompositions of the wastes produced various harmful gases (Gupta , 2005; Nath et al.,2009; Mishra et al.,2013)


Earthworms assimilates nutrients and energy from a wide range of ingested materials with variable efficiency, depending on the species and the nature of the ingested materials. Vermicomposting is a process of bio-oxidation and stabilization of organic wastes and by the joint action of earthworms and microorganisms. The most common earthworm used for vermicomposting is Eisenia fetida although many other species have potential and may be suitable because rapid growth, feeds on almost any organic matter, it has a wide temperature tolerance, can be easily handled, has a high reproductive rate and has more known about its biology than any other species.


Vermiwash, is a liquid fertilizer collected after the passage of water through a column of worm activation. It is a collection of excretory products of earthworms along with major micronutrients of the soil and soil organic molecules that are useful for plants. These bio-liquid is rich in nutrients and plant growth hormones (Nath et al., 2009; Mishra et al., 2013). Bio-pesticide is a formulation made from naturally occurring substances that controls pests by non toxic mechanisms and in eco-friendly manner; hence gaining importance all over the world (Mazid et al., 2011).


Biological wastes:

The biological wastes are a serious problem for society and caused various ill effects to the human and animal health as well as the environment, if they are not properly managed (Kaviraj and Sharma, 2003; Bhattacharya and Chattopadhyay, 2004; Deka et al., 2013). With the progressive increase in the size of the world population resulted large volumes of biological wastes produced all over the developed and undeveloping countries (Chauhan et al.,2010). Joshi and Chauhan (2006) reported that the growth of industries and human population have generated the thousand tones municipal solid wastes daily. The million tonnes of cattle dung and agro/kitchen wastes produce annually in India which contain various harmful micro organisms which cause various odor and environmental problem in surrounding area (Suthar and Singh, 2008).


Suthar et al. (2005) reported that 320 million tones of agricultural wastes generated annually in India and the huge amount of wastes comes from agriculture, urban, and industrial sources as well as from domestic activities. The use of animal manure for the good crop production is a common practice in India and other developing countries (Wijewardena, 1993; Wijewardena and Yapa, 1999; Wijewardena, 2000; Garg et al., 2005). Application of animal manure and chemical fertilizers for obtaining better productivity of crops causes increase of the heavy metals in a particular agricultural fields (Wijewardena and Gunaratne, 2004). The conversion of these wastes into the rich nutrient organic matter by biological treatments is more effective process (Paraskeva and Diamadopoulos, 2006). Nair et al. (2006) reported that solid waste management is one of the biggest environmental challenges facing the world today due to the increasing population and urbanization. Kaviraj and Sharma (2003) reported that the noxious problem of municipal solid wastes that contain huge amount of metals such as Fe, Cu, Zn and Pb are toxic to human health and environment. Industrial wastes like distillery effluents and sugar mill sludges caused environmental hazards and various ill effects on the human health (Pandey and Carney, 1994; Suthar and Singh, 2008).


It was reported that vegetable crop wastes produced from the different polluted agriculture field of India have higher concentration of Cd, Ni, Cr, Pb etc. with respect to other wastes (Singh and Kumar, 2006; Sharma et al.,2007). Lue et al, (2008) reported that vegetable wastes contain huge amount of Cd, Pb and Cr which ultimately reached into agricultural field. Heavy metals accumulation in fruit and vegetables by intake of plant from polluted soil makes it more susceptible (Sharma et al.,2008). The vegetable waste produced from market discarded into the landfills which increase the heavy metals in the soil (Bouallagui et al., 2004).


Animal wastes:

In India, million tons of cattle dung and agro-wastes are produce annually (Gupta, 2005; Garg et al., 2006b). The microbial decomposition of these wastes produces unpleasant odour at pollution level causing several diseases that compose serious human and livestock health problem (Reinecke et al., 1992). The livestock excreta and industrial sludge are also a serious problem for the society (Garg et al., 2005). Kaplan et al.,(2011) reported that heavy metal pollutants caused environmental pollution which is major global problem posing serious risk to animal and human health. In recent past the different animal wastes have been converted into useful product by the use of earthworm, Eisenia fetida through vermicomposting (Edward et al., 1998; Gunadi et al., 2002; Kaushik and Garg, 2003).


Improperly managed animal waste can have severe consequences for the environment such as odor problems, attraction of rodents, insects and other pests, release of animal pathogens, groundwater contamination, surface water runoff, deterioration of biological structure of the earth and catastrophic spills (Sakar et al., 2009). Generation of millions of tons of sugar mill effluents, distillery spent wash and animal wastes are produced annually and have cause odor and pollution problems (Gupta, 2005; Garg et al., 2006; Nath et al., 2009) and also live stock excreta and industrial sludge were stern problem for the human health and environment (Bhartiya and Singh, 2012).  Animal manure contains heavy metals and toxic metals added to soil through these manure, it could be entered to human body through the food chain (CRI, 1994; Hernandez et al., 1991; Hu, 2002).


In India the livestock dung are produced annually million of tons as the rate of buffalo dung 12.20 kg/ animal / day , cow dung 11.6 kg / animal / day  and goat dung 0.70 kg/ animal / day  (Garg et al.,2006). High livestock density is always accompanied by production of a surplus of animal manure, representing a considerable pollution threat for the environment in these areas. Cattle are the largest contributors to global manure production (60%), while pigs and poultry account for 9% and 10%, respectively (Herrero et al., 2009). Anaerobic fermentation in open lagoons also results in high methane emissions and a danger toxic gases can be released during the biological decomposition of the manure, with negative consequences for farmers and livestock (Poeschl et al., 2012; DENA, 2010). It has been reported that Horse dung reduces eggplant parasites populations in the soil (Ismail and Youssef, 1997).


Nutrient leaching, mainly nitrogen and phosphorous, ammonia evaporation and pathogen contamination are some of the major threats (Holm-Nielsen et al., 2009). Currently the fertilizer values of animal wastes are not being fully utilized resulting in loss of potential nutrients and also causing concern due to odor problems (Reinecke et al., 1992). In India, the integration of crops and livestock and use of manure as fertilizer were traditionally the basis of farming systems (Wijewardena and Yapa, 1999). The development of chemical fertilizer industries during the green revolution period created opportunities for low-cost supply of plant nutrients in inorganic forms which lead to rapid displacement of organic manures derived from livestock excreta (Garg et al., 2006).


Agro wastes:

Agro-waste is defined as waste which is produced from various agriculture activities. These agro-wastes include manures, bedding, plant stalks, hulls, leaves, and vegetable matter. Agro-waste is usually produced through farming activities. In farming situation, the agro-waste is often useless and will be discarded (Harris et al.,2001). The accumulation of agro-waste may cause health, safety, environmental and esthetic concern. Thus, this represents a problem which requires safe disposal (Sud et al.,2008). Rao(1993) and Caprara et al.,(2011) reported that the agrowastes contain insoluble chemical constituents (cellulose and lignin) and soluble constituents (sugar, amino acids and organic acids) whereas, other constituents are fats, oil waxes, resins, pigment, protein and mineral.


The agro-wastes such as decaying part of plants are the primary source of organic matter in soil (Rao,1993). Therefore, agro-wastes are the cheapest source that can be used by farmers to improve the fertility of soil. The agricultural scientists have focused the attention on the development of conventional system of agriculture which is chemical free and safe for human being as well as animals (Gupta and Garg, 2007).  It embraces several forms of non-conventional agriculture practices called as organic farming. Organic farming through vermicomposting is the pathway that leads us to live in harmony with nature.



Organic forming is the key to  minimized the  environmental pollution, conserve soil fertility, and check the soil erosion and use of non-renewable natural resources through implementation of appropriate conservation principles (Reganold et al., 2001; Bisoyi, 2003; Gupta, 2005). Since 1989, Cuba was heavily depends on the vermicomposting for disposal of agricultural and municipal solid wastes and as primary source of soil fertility. Thus, the large scale experimentation determined the vermicomposting is a high potential of waste management technology (Wong and Griffith, 1991; Bhole, 1992; Atiyeh et al., 2000; Eastman et al., 2001). Lim and Matu (2015) reported that agro-wastes from water melon, papaya, and banana are suitable to be used to produce biofertilizers using SSF method.


Water hyacinth:

Eichhornia crassipes, commonly known as water hyacinth, is an aquatic plant and is often considered a highly problematic invasive species outside its native range. Water hyacinth is free-floating perennial aquatic plant (or hydrophytes) native to tropical and sub-tropical South America. With broad, thick, glossy, ovate leaves, water hyacinth may rise above the surface of the water as much as 1 meter in height. Eichhornia crassipes is the plant of family-Pontederiaceae which has recently been included in the Commelinales (APG II, 2003; Strange et al., 2004). ). Eichhornia crassipes can facilitate biodegradation of organic pollutants and a good accumulator of Zn, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ag and Cd (Odjegba and Fasidi, 2007). It is the fastest growing plants known, each plant can produce thousands of seeds each year and these seeds can remain viable for more than 28 years. The common water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) are vigorous growers known to double their population in two weeks(  Sullivan et al.,2012). Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) has fast growth and large biogas production (Singhal and Rai, 2003). Water hyacinth is also known to have a promising potential for the removal of toxic metals and other pollutants from aquatic environments (Mahamadi and Nharingo, 2010). Though the purification of sewage by water hyacinth has not yet been generally embraced in some parts of the world (Alade and Ojoawo, 2009). Meanwhile in other parts, majorly developed countries, water hyacinth has been used to remove nutrients or pollutants from wastewaters (Yedla et al., 2002; Xia, 2008; Abbasi and Abbasi, 2010).


In India, water hyacinth has stretched over 2,00,000 ha of water surface in the country (Murugesan et al., 2005) and its exuberance has been highly notived throughout the course of the river Thamirabarani, a prerennial river in south India (Murugesan et al., 2002; Murugesan, 2001). Water hyacinth has invaded freshwater systems in over 50 countries on five continents; it is especially pervasive throughout Southeast Asia, the southeastern United States, central and western Africa and Central America (Bartodziej and Weymouth, 1995; Brendonck , 2003; Lu et al., 2007; Martinez Jimenez and Gomez Balandra, 2007). It is found in lakes, estuaries, wetlands, marshes, ponds, dambos, slow flowing rivers, streams and waterways in the lower latitudes where growth is stimulated by the inflow of nutrient rich water from urban and agricultural runoff, deforestation, products of industrial waste and insufficient wastewater treatment (Villamagna and Murphy, 2010; Ndimele et al., 2011).  Previously the water hyacinth plants and their roots were used for phytoremediation of ethion and biosorption of reactive dyes (Xia and Ma, 2005).  According to recent climate change models, its distribution may expand into higher latitudes as temperatures rise, posing problems to formerly hyacinth free areas (Rahel and Olden, 2008).


The beautiful, large purple and violet flowers of the South American water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) make it a very popular ornamental plant for ponds. However water hyacinth has also been labelled as the world’s worst water weed and has garnered increasing international attention as an invasive species (Zhang et al., 2010). Invasive alien species are a major global challenge requiring urgent action (Xu et al. 2012). They are considered one of the key pressures on world’s biodiversity: altering ecosystem services and processes, reducing native species abundance and richness, and decreasing genetic diversity of ecosystems (Rands et al., 2010; Vila et al., 2011; Hejda et al., 2009).


The water hyacinth cause substantial economic losses estimated by one study to total US$120 billion annually in the USA (Pimentel et al., 2005; Kettunen et al., 2009). In South Africa, estimated economic costs due to invasive alien species are currently above US$ 700 million (Rs. 6.5 billion) per annum or 0.3% of South Africa’s GDP and could rise to over 5% of GDP if invasive plants are allowed to reach their full potential (Wilgen and Lange, 2011). The success of biocontrol programs on E. crassipes as exemplified by the impact of control agents on E. crassipes is without a doubt affected by plant quality which is in turn determined by the nutrient status of the water (Heard and Winterton, 2000; Wilson et al., 2006; Coetzee et al., 2007). As a result of increased nutrient levels, eutrophic waters support denser stands of E. crassipes which in turn affects the population growth rate of the control agents and therefore damage to the weed (Julien et al., 1996; Hill and Cilliers, 1999; Wilson et al., 2007).


Water hyacinth can also present many problems for the fisherman such as decreased fish population, difficult access to the fishing sites and loss of fishing equipment, resulting in reduction in catch and subsequent loss of livelihood (Malik, 2007). Water hyacinth is blamed for the reduction of biodiversity. If it is introduced into foreign aquatic ecosystems, it could cause severe water management problems because of its vegetative reproduction and high growth rate (Gopal and Sharma, 1981; Giraldo and Garzo, 2002). It is still rapidly spreading throughout Africa, where new infestations are creating life-threatening situations as well as environmental and cultural upheaval (Ntiba et al., 2001). Water hyacinth is known to cause a reduction on productivity of a lake’s phytoplankton since the weed mats shade out any photoautotrophs (both phytoplankton and also submersed macrophytes) beneath them (Scheffer et al., 2003).The solid waste management of water hyacinth can be recycled in an eco-friendly and economically profitable manner by using the advanced vermicomposting method. Higher microbial population was observed from vermicompost as compared to initial samples .This suggests that micro-organisms greatly influence the vermicompost production by increase their number (Rao et al., 2012).The chemical analyses of the compost produced by microbial inoculated composting and vermicomposting of Jatropa seed cake admixed with water hyacinth and cow dung, point towards its patentability (Patidar et al., 2013). Water hyacinth, due to its low lignin content is a rich source of lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel and biomass production. High protein and mineral content of water hyacinth makes it an attractive substrate for animal and fish feed (Sharma et al., 2016). Lalitha and Jayanthi (2014) demonstrated the potential of extracts of Eichhornia crassipes in antiaging.  Two skin creams of the ethyl acetate extract were evaluated for its antiaging efficacy by DNA damage inhibition assay and DPPH radical scavenging assay.Water hyacinth has also been reported to contain compounds with anticancer properties (Aboul-Enein et al., 2014).Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes ) is a highly competitive plant that is capable of rapid growth and spread. It can displace native species, reduce biodiversity, limit recreation, and diminish aesthetic value and decrease water quality and flow. Water hyacinth is a good source of cellulose and hemicellulose, which can be converted to biogas (Batham et al., 2014).



Earthworms belong to phylum Annelida and class Oligochaeta. The body of earthworm is cylindrical with more or less uniformly placed ring annuli along with the length of the body. There are over 4400 species of earthworm described worldwide (Sinha, 2009) but only a dozen of species are useful for vermicomposting (Ranganathan, 2006). Some species are efficiently ploughing the land and recycle the organic matter for growth of the plants. The distribution of earthworm in soil is influenced by several factors such as soils textures, aeration, temperature, moisture, pH, organic salts, organic matter, dung and reproductive potentials (Garg et al., 2006a; Suthar, 2006a). The pH highly influenced on diapauses condition in earthworm (Aalok et al., 2008). Majority of worms occurred in soil where the moisture ranges from 12-45% (Govindan, 1998).


Generally earthworms are classified into as anecic, endogeic and epigeic on the basis of their micro habitat. The anecic worms are burrowing that come to the surface at night to drag the food down into the permanent burrows deep with the mineral layer of soil (Arancon et al., 2005; Gupta, 2005; Ranganathan, 2006). Six species of Earthworm Eisenia fetida, Denderobaena vaneta, Lumbricus rubellus, Eudrilus eugeniae, Peryonix excavatus and Perionyx sensibaricus have been recommended to use in breakdown of organic matter (Suthar,2007; Talashilkar and Dosani, 2008).


In India, two species of earthworms are extensively used for vermiculture namely, Eisenia fetida (redworm) and Eudrilus eugineae (night crawler) along with the exotic species like Denderobaena vaneta, Peryonix excavatus, and Lumbricus rubellus (Kaushik et al., 2003). Ghosh (2004) reported that the vermiculture is an innovative biotechnology, in which the breeding and propagation of earthworm Eisenia fetida and the use of its castings became an important tool of wastes recycling converting it into the vermicompost. Aalok et al., (2008) have studied the use of earthworm as natural bioreactors for cost-effective and environmentally appropriate waste management. Cynthia et al., (2012) investigated that the experimental groups Lampito mauritii have high protein content than the control samples hence they are suitable as fish bait, poultry and fish feed.


Chauhan and Singh (2012b) observed higher cocoon production and higher percentage of hatching of young one of earthworm Eisenia fetida in cow dung mixed with wheat straw and rice/barley bran.Ranganathan (2006) observed that Denderobaena vaneta, Perionyx excavatus, Lumbricus rubellus and Perionyx sensibaricus are suitable for the solid wastes management. Epigeic species Eudrilus eugeniae have been extensively used in converting organic wastes in the vermicomposts (Aalok et al., 2008). Venkatesh and Eevira (2008) observed the different combinations of fly ash and cow dung with inoculation of Eudrilus eugeniae and reported that the nutrient availability was significantly higher in the ratio of 1:3 (fly ash to cow dung) treatments. Phosphate solubilising microbes such as Micrococci spp., Pseudomonas spp., Bacillus spp., and Aspergillus spp. were observed in gut and cast of Lampito mauritii, Perionyx excavatus and Eudrilus eugeniae (Parthasarathi and Ranganathan, 2000).

Mixture of guar gum industrial waste (a ligno-cellulogic wastes of guar (Cyamposis tetragonaloba), cow dung and saw dust (in the ratio of 3:1:1) is an ideal combination for enhancing maximum bio-potential of earthworms (Perionyx excavatus) for management of wastes as well as for earthworm biomass and cocoon production (Suthar, 2006b). Suthar (2007d) reported that the vermicomposting efficiency of Perionyx excavatus was influenced by the different waste materials. The crop residues can be used as an efficient culture media for large scale production of Eudrilus eugeniae (Suthar, 2008a). Suthar (2007b) demonstrated that quality of waste material like jowar, bajra straw and sheep dung manure in vermiculture influence the biomass and reproduction of Eudrilus eugeniae, Perionyx excavatus and Parionyx sansibaricus.


Similarly increased population of microbes in the castes were found (Ruschmann,1953; Parthasarathi et al., 2006b). The mucus secreted by intestine of Pontoscolox corethrurus was found to contain water-soluble organic compounds which could be assimilated by the micro-organism helping in the multiplication in the gut (Lavelle, 1988). Parthasarathi et al., (2006b) studied the occurrence of a variety of species of micro-organisms in the gut of earthworms. The diversity and number of fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, yeast and protozoa in the gut and cast of Lampito mauritii, Eudrilus eugeniae, Eisenia fetida and Peryonyx excavatus were observed which feed on different substrates like clay loam soil, cow dung and press mud. The press mud with a rich population and diversity of microbes was the preferred food of earthworms (Parthasarathi et al., 2006b; Rangnathan, 2006). The earthworm breeding was done in 8 0.59m x 0.31m worm bins and earthworms were loaded at 100-200 worms/m2 (Ansari and Rajpersaud, 2012).


Therapeutic uses of earthworms:             

Earthworms are used as antipyretic (Barley 1961). Stephenson (1930) has reported that earthworm ashes had been used as tooth powder, as stimulant for applied to hairs growth in head. It is used in the treatment of piles, fever, small pox, jaundice and removal of stones in bladder (Ranganathan, 2006). Earthworm and their extract have anti-oxidant activity, cure impotency, rheumatism (Weisbach, 1962), promote lactation and dilate the bronchi (Reynolds and Reynolds, 1972).


The paste and its extract of earthworm Eisenia foetida prevent the oxidative damage because the earthworm tissue have significant amount of    anti-oxidant such as glutathione and glutathione peroxides (Gridsa et al., 2001). The paste of Lemppitto mourtii was found to enhance the liver antioxidant such as GSH (reduced glutathione), GPx (Glutathione peroxidase) and CAT (catalase) and decrease the lipid per oxidation in albino rat (Balamurugan, 2006). Prakash (2006) has reported that the administration of earthworm paste of Lampito mauritii had restored the gastero-intestinal damage by reducing the gastric acid secretion, acidity and enhancing the pH. It had also increased the activity of anti-oxidative enzymes such as GSH, GPx and CAT preventing the damage of mucous membrane in the stomach of albino rat (Gridsa et al., 2001).


Earthworm paste and its extract have anti-inflammatory properties in both acute and chronic phase (Balamurugan, 2006; Yegnanarayan et al., 1987, 1998; Ismail et al., 1992). Yegnanarayan et al., (1987) found that ethanol and petroleum extract of earthworm Lempito mauritii exhibit anti-inflammatory activity in albino rat. Nagasawa et al., (1991) reported that the skin extract lombricine from Lumbricus terrstris inhibit the growth of mammary tumors in SHN mice. Herzenjak et al., (1992) extracted a biologicaly active glycoprotein  G-90 from whole earthworm tissue (Eisenia foetida, Lumbricuss rubellus) homogenate and found  that it slow down the tumor growth mouse.  Earthworm’s coelomic fluid and its tissue extract exhibits a strong anti microbial activity. Various extract of earthworm posses potency against some pathogenic and non pathogenic bacteria such as Eischerichia coli, Streptococcus pyogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella entiertidi (Roch et al., 1984; Viallier et al., 1985). Popovic et al., (2005) have reported the anti-bacterial activity of Eisenia foetida against Streptococcus pyogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa etc.


Herzenjak et al., (1998) have reported the anti-coagulant properties of earthworms. They isolated serine protease as anti coagulant. Popovic et al., (2001) isolated the proteolitic enzyme Eisenia foetida which caused lysis of clots originated from venous blood of dog with cardiopathies and with malignant tumors. The earthworms can be further applied in other vermi-technologies such as vermifiltration and vermi-remediation on top of vermicomposting (Manyuchi and Phiri, 2014; Manyuchi and Phiri, 2013a; Manyuchi and Phiri, 2013b). Cow dung has also been reported to have a positive impact on Eisenia Fetida growth by several authors (Birundha et al., 2013)


Eisenia fetida (Savigny):

Eisenia fetida (Savigny) (Annelida: Oligocaeta: Octochaetidae) is one of such invertebrate animals that play an important role for management of these waste materials (Gupta, 2005).Eisenia fetida is commonly known as the compost worm, wiggler or red worm. They are brown, red or purple in color and distributed throughout the country due to their migratory behavior (Talashilkar and Dosani, 2008). Eisenia fetida can tolerate temperature up to 30-35°C (Garg et al., 2005).  Cattle dung are suitable culture medium for Eisenia fetida (Aalok et al., 2008). They are able to consume food more than that of their body weight each day (Elvira et al., 1998). Eisenia fetida have short life span, yet very active with high regenerative capacity.

The cast production efficiency of Eisenia fetida ranges from 8-12 mg/worm per day. Mature adult may have body weight from 0.7-1.5 g (Srivastava and Singh, 2004). The compost worm need five basic things: a hospitable living environment (bedding), a food source, adequate moisture (greater than 50% water content by weight), an adequate aeration and production (Card et al., 2004). They grow faster and under the optimum condition of temperature, humidity and food quantity they attained reproduction capability within 30-40 days (Gupta, 2005). Mature adult worm produces 2-3 cocoons per weeks (Lowe and Butt, 2002). The egg hatched within 3 weeks and each cocoon produces 2-20 young worms (Ghatnekar et al., 1998). An adult Eisenia fetida produces approximately 250 young ones within 6 month. Its life span is 70 days (Gupta, 2005).


Nath et al., (2009) observed the effect of various animal agro and kitchen wastes on the growth and development of an epigeic earthworm Eisenia fetida under identical laboratory condition. Food quality of different animal dung influences not only the size of earthworms but also their reproduction and development. There was significant increase in TKN, TK, TAP, and TCa while decrease in the level of pH, C/N ratio, EC as well as TOC in the final vermicompost in comparison to the initial feed mixture. The study of Chauhan and Singh (2012a) The dung material strongly influences the biology of Eisenia fetida which are used in vermiculture operation and manure management of dairy, horse and rabbit (Card et al., 2004). Kaviraj and Sharma (2003) stated that the Eisenia fetida to be superior over Lampito mauritii for conversion of waste into vermicompost. Garg et al., (2006b) and Suthar (2007b) observed that the Eisenia fetida have a great potential to change the different live stock excreta in vermicompost. Earthworm show better growth and fecundity in pre-composted cattle solid wastes (Gunadi et al., 2002). Biomass gain and cocoon production by Eisenia fetida was more in cow and buffalo dung than goat dung (Loh et al., 2005). Gunadi and Edwards (2003) observed the fecundity and mortality of Eisenia fetida in different manure for more than one year and found that the worm growth was faster in pig wastes than cattle solid wastes. Addition of cow dung with solid textile mill sludge is suitable for the survival of Eisenia fetida (Kaushik et al., 2003, 2004). It also has great impact on nitrogen transformation (Atiyeh et al., 2000).


The application of earthworm is very effective method to control the organic wastes generated from household to industrial unit (Trivedi and Kumar, 1998; Ghatnekar et al., 1998; Abbassi and Ramasammy, 2001; Taylor et al., 2003). Chauhan and Singh (2012) also stated that the significant reproduction and growth rate of earthworm Eisenia fetida was in the combination of feed mixture in pig dung with wheat straw and pig dung with gram bran, respectively.Earthworm feeds on waste bio-solid per day up to twice their body weight and makes possible to convert the biological wastes into vermicompost (Haimi and Hutha,1988). The enzyme produced by earthworms and micro-organisms play an important role in soil fertility. Worm cast enhanced the microbial activity, resulted the increase of enzyme activity, micro and macro-nutrients in the soil (Suthar, 2006a; Suthar, 2008b). It is also reported that microbial group in the vermicomposting produced an intercellular dehydrogenase and phosphates enzyme which accelerate the oxidative phosphorylation process (Garcia et al., 1999; Masciandro et al., 2000; Madjen et al., 2001).


Eisenia fetida increase the nitrate production by stimulating bacterial activity, mucus production and dead tissues decomposition (Aira et al., 2002). Feeding on aerobic sewage sludge and domestic animal manure, earthworm increases the rate of decomposition (Chaudhary and Bhattacharjee, 2002; Kaushik et al., 2003). Mitchell (1997) observed that during vermicomposting, earthworm decrease the anaerobic process and increase the aerobic condition therefore decline in methane and volatile sulphur compounds.


Garg et al., (2005) reported that cow, horse, goat and sheep dung supported the growth and reproduction of Eisenia fetida, so it can be used as feed materials in large scale vermicomposting. Purohit (2003) and Garg et al., (2006a) studied that the combination of water hyacinth and cow dung retarded the growth and fecundity of earthworm Eisenia fetida and also affect the nutritional quality of vermicompost. In the large scale vermicomposting, the use of solid textile mill sludge as raw material with inoculation of Eisenia fetida can help to convert these wastes into value added product (Kaushik et al., 2003; Garg et al., 2005). Chauhan and Singh (2012b) observed that the significant highest cocoon production of earthworm Eisenia fetida was observed in cow dung with wheat straw and rice bran. The earthworm Eisenia fetida is reported for the first time from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The original range of the species is supposed from Russia. The species is epigeic and is found in the environments rich in organic matter, with patchy distribution. The life cycle of the earthworm is well documented because of its economic importance as the species is used in waste management (Najar and Khan, 2011).The significant increase of heavy metals accumulation observed in the body tissue of E. foetida whereas decreased heavy metals level in final vermicompost of different animal dung (cow, buffalo, sheep, goat and horse dung) with kitchen wastes and the combination of buffalo dung with kitchen waste E. foetida have maximum accumulation of heavy metals in their body (Bhartiya and singh, 2011).Chauhan and Singh (2013) reprted that the quality of feeding material influence the growth and reproduction of Eisenia fetida.



Vermicomposting is an eco-friendly, aerobic, less expensive, biological process where organic wastes are converted into homogeneous and stabilized vermicompost by earthworms(Gupta,2005). Vermicomposting after providing feeding substances increase the soil aggregation, improve air-water relationship, water retentivity and also improve several other physico-chemical properties of the soils (Webber, 1978; Epstein, 1997). Vermicompost produced with such a biotechnology have been found to be superior in nutrient status than the traditionally prepared compost and contain several vitamins, plant growth regulators, antibiotics etc. (Tilak et al., 2010). Vermicomposting with earthworm Eisenia fetida is a suitable way for conversion of wastes into rich organic bio-fertilizers (Suthar 2006; Rai and Singh, 2012).


Vermicomposting was started in 1970 in Ontario (USA) and produced vermicompost @ 75 ton per week. American earthworm company began a farm in 1978-79 with about 500 ton capacity per month. Aoka Sangyo Co. Ltd., Japan has 3000 ton per month plants processing wastes from pulp and food industries. Thereafter, it has been started in other countries, such as Italy, Philippines and Canada. Vermitechnology adoption in preparing of vermicompost started in India very recently in small and industrial level (Aalok et al., 2008).Nath et al., (2009) reported that the vermicomposting of animal, agro/kitchen wastes not only produced a valuable vermicompost/vermiwash but also increase the level of plant growth nutrients in vermicompost.


Vermicomposting could be an adequate technology for the transformation of wastes into valuable products (Elvira et al., 1997; Appelhalf et al., 1998; Nagavallemma et al., 2004; Manyuchi and Nyamunokora, 2014; Manyuchi et al., 2014; Manyuchi and Phiri, 2013a). During the vermicomposting process the important nutrients like N, P, K and Ca present in the feed material are converted into much soluble nutrients for plant through earthworm action (Ndegwa and Thompson, 2001). Vermicomposting has been reported to be a viable, cost-effective and rapid technique for the management of the domestic animals as well as industrial wastes into value added material (Payal et al., 2006; Wong and Griffith, 1991; Bhole, 1992; Atiyeh et al., 2000; Eastman et al., 2001). Earthworms play an important role in stabilization of inorganic plant nutrients to organic form and increase the soil fertility (Ranganathan, 2006). The worms added their cast with compost and increased the inorganic nutrients many times along with some plant growth hormones and vitamins (Atiyeh et al., 2002).

Vermicomposting is an adequate technology for bio-oxidation and stabilization of organic materials with joint action of earthworms and micro-organisms where organic wastes are converted in to nutrient rich plant growth media (Elvira et al., 1997;Appelhalf et al.,1998; Nagavellum et al., 2004). The earthworms play an important role in stabilization of inorganic plant nutrients to organic form and increased the soil fertility (Rangnathan, 2006).The worms added their cast with compost and increased the inorganic nutrients to many times along with some plant growth hormones and vitamins (Atiyah et al., 2002).


Vermicomposting has been identified as one of the potential and natural processes for managing waste, cost effective and required only shorter duration (Sundari and Gandhi, 2013). Different types of wastes have been treated through a vermitechnology process like dyeing sludge (Bhat et al., 2013), paper mill sludge (Kaur et al.,2010), tannery sludge (Vig et al.,2011), soft drink industry waste (Singh and Kaur,2013), beverage sludge (Singh et al., 2010) etc. The application of vermicompost helps in increasing the organic matter content of the soil and maintaining soil natural productivity (Kumar, 2005). An organic fertilizer serves as a good and suitable source to supply soil food elements. Among the organic manure, vermicompost is one of the best which contains growth regulators like hormones which increase the growth and yield of crops (Canellas et al., 2002; Thiruneelakandan and Subbulakshmi, 2014). Compost plays an important role for improving soil physical properties and contains higher levels of relatively available nutrients elements, which are essential to plant growth (Mona et al., 2011). It is a microorganism, that biochemically degrade the organic matter, crucial drivers of the process aerate and fragment the substrate there by drastically altering the microbial activity and further decomposition (Dominguez et al., 1997).


The soil enriched with vermicompost provides additional substances that are not found in chemical fertilizers (Ansari and Sukhraj, 2010). Vermicomposting involves the bio-oxidation and stabilization of organic material by the joint action of earth worms and microorganisms (Sundari and Gandhi,2013). Atiyeh et al.,(2000) reported that the  vermicompost tended to be higher in ‘nitrates’, which is the more bio-available form of nitrogen for plants. Vermiculture biotechnology promises to user in the  ‘second green revolution’ by completely replacing the destructive agro-chemicals which did more harm  than  good to both the farmers and their farmlands during the ‘first green revolution’ of the 1950-60’s (Rekha et al., 2013). Incorporation of vermicomposts can have a direct impact not only on soil health and crop productivity, but also can be an alternative for the chemical fertilizers and pesticides (Hameeda et al., 2006). Hence, there seems to be an even greater potential for suppression of plant pests and diseases by vermicomposts than by composts, probably due to stimulatory effects of soil microbial activity (Perner et al., 2006; Postma et al., 2003). Entomopathogens, antagonistic microbes and botanicals isolated from vermicompost serve as an alternative to chemical pesticides and fertilizers (Murrey et al., 2000; Lacey and Shapiro-Ilanan, 2008).Employing a trommel screen separator efficiently separated earthworms from vermicasts that were produced during vermicomposting. Lower moisture contents of the vermicasts of around 40% and trommel rotational speed of 50 rpm are recommended for optimum earthworm separation. This innovation helps to increase the production capacity in vermicomposting processes making it 97% more effective compared to handpicking of earthworms from the vermicasts per hour (Manyuchi and Phiri, 2013).


The biological method of crop cultivation is sustainable and improves soil health rather than conventional methods based on the earlier observations (Ansari and Sukhraj, 2010;2010a). The water hyacinth has been developed into biofertilizer by Eudrilus eugeniae. The cellulose present in water hyacinth was hydrolyzed enzymatically and composted by using Eudrilus eugeniae (Blessy and Prabha, 2014).Inoculation of bactiria and fungi increases cellulase activity, promote biodegradation of organic matter and accelerate the composting process (Ghaffari et al., 2011). Vermicompost contains significant quantities of nutrients; a large beneficial microbial population; and biologically active metabolites; particularly gibberellins, cytokinins, auxins and  group B vitamins which can be applied alone or in combination with organic or inorganic  fertilizers, so as to get better yield and quality of diverse crops (Atiyeh et al., 2002; Arancon, 2006; Jack et al., 2011, Murmu et al.,2013).  Hait and Tare (2011) have reported higher potassium content in the sewage sludge vermicompost.


Esakkiammal et al., (2015) reported that the combination of vermicompost and vermiwash of organic wastes enhance the growth and yield of Dolichous lablab.Vermicompost has the potential to act as an economic encentive to improve manure management with ROI of close to over 200% depending on the amount manure in urban centers with high prvelance of animals (Lalandera et al., 2015).The application of vermicompost at the rate of 2 t ha-1 significantly increased the total, fresh and dry weight of root nodules per plant leaf area. index leghaemoglobin content in root nodules at pre-flowering stage, number of branches per plant, plant height number of pod per plant, number of seed per pod, test weight, seed and straw yield, N, P, K and S uptake by seed and straw and an available N, P, K and S content in soil at harvest and net returns over preceding levels of vermicompost(Ahamad et al., 2014).Vermiculture biotechnology promises to us in the ‘Second Green Revolution’ by completely replacing the destructive agro-chemicals which did more harm than good to both the farmers and their farmland (Sinha et al., 2014).



Vermiwash is the coelomic fluid extraction; it contains several enzymes, plants hormones like auxines, cytokinin, gibberellins and vitamins, especially B12 along with micro and macro nutrients. This liquid manure is collected in the liquid form and used as foliar spray, which stimulate the growth and yield of crops (Ismail, 1997). It also increases the resistance of crop against harmful disease (Shields and Earl, 1982; Shivsubramanian and Ganeshkumar, 2004).  Gamaley et al., (2006) have suggested that vermiwash is foliar manure root nutrition and optimized the productivity of crops. Vermiwash is a best tonic for plant show significant growth and productivity of crops (Ismail, 1997). This is attributed to better growth of plants and higher yield by slow release of nutrient for absorption with additional nutrient like gibberellins, cytokinin and auxins by the application of organic vermicomposts with vermiwash (Lalitha, 2000; Subler, 1995; Raviv et al., 1998).


Vermiwash is the extract of vermicomposts containing rich amount of earthworms. It contains micronutrient, vitamins, hormones and disease resistance power (Grappelli et al., 1987). Vermiwash is honey brown in color having heterotrophic bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, including nitrogen fixer phosphate solbuliser and enrich with macro, micro nutrients, enzyme, hormone and vitamins (Lozek and Fecenko, 1998).It is liquid organic biofertilizers, pesticidal in nature (Kale, 1998; Grappelli et al., 1987; Umamaheswari et al., 2003). Vermiwash, liquid manure is very useful as a foliar spray to enhance the plant growth, yield and to check the development of disease. The vermiwash complex is efficient in rising of nurseries, lawns and orchids (Ismail, 1995; Pramoth, 1995). Giraddi (2001) have studied that wash of earthworm is a plant promoter substance.


Earthworm produced bacteriostatic substance found in the vermiwash which protect the plant from bacterial infections (Pathak and Ram 2004; Ramesh, 1995).  Weerasinghe et al., (2006) has reported that vermiwash is the wash of earthworm’s ceolomic fluid. Calcareous layer and the watery extract of bedding materials which contains soluble micro and macro nutrients, natural plants growth hormones , beneficial microbes, vitamins and amino acids. It also occurred   pesticidal properties. Vermiwash are recognized for foliar spray in morning before sunshine and evening, after sun set and also suggested that cow urine and vermiwash the ratio of 1:1 diluted by ten time of water is an effect biopesticides and liquid manure (Subasahri, 2004; Ismail, 1997; Pramoth, 1995).


Zaller (2006) has suggested that various effect of foliar spraying of vermicomposts extract on fruit quality and indication of ‘Late blight’ suppression of field grown tomatoes. Hoffland et al., (2000) have reported that nitrogen concentration of tissue is significantly altered by spraying of vermiwash. It also suppresses the disease causing pathogens in tomato plant. The application of aqueous compost extract has been shown to reduced the necrotrophs as well as biotrophs elocote disease (Weltzien, 1989 ; Fokkema, 1993; Al- Dahmani et al., 2003). Aqueous extract of vermicomposts have shown to depress the soil born pathogens and pests (Orlikowski, 1999; Szczech et al., 1993; Nakasone et al., 1999; Rodriguez et al., 2000). Since composts and vermicomposts extract contain a high amount of nutrients, it is reasonable that these extract could also be used as foliar fertilizers. Generally, foliar spray would offer a method of supplying nutrients to higher plants more rapidly than root application (Marschner, 1995; Shweta et al., 2004).


Under dry condition foliar application of nutrients is much more effective than soil application (Grudon, 1980). It has been reported that spraying of vermiwash on variety of tomato caused significant increase in the growth of plant and yield of fruits (Zaller, 2006; Siminis et al., 1998; Atiyeh et al., 2000; Arancon et al., 2003, 2005).  Foliar sprays containing nutrient can also compensate the decline in nutrient uptake by roots with the onset of the reproductive stage as a results of sink competition for carbohydrates (Trobisch and Schilling, 1970). Intelligent and selective use of organic amendment like vermicomposts, vermiwash, mulch (chiefly including plant residue like paddy) and green manure have effective in soil conditioning  and soil property ( Ansari, 2007, 2008).


Parbhu et al., (2003) reported the presence of large number of beneficial microorganism present in vermiwash help in plant growth and protect it from a number of infections. Edwards et al., (2004) discussed the hormones produced by vermiwash are very effective for plant growth and its diseases suppression. The use of vermiwash in leaf areas of plant suppresses the plant parasitic nematode and arthropods pest and improving the growth, productivity and seed germination of plants (Zaller, 2006). Increased microbial activity in vermiwash results in the production of significant quantity of plant growth regulators such as indol acetic acid, gibberellins, cytokinins (Edwards, 1998; Krishnamoorthy and Vajranabhiah, 1986). Large quantity of humic acids was produced during vermicomposting, which leaches out from vermicomposts during extraction of vermiwash (Ismail, 1997).  Humic acid have positive effect on plant growth (Manivannan, 2004, Ramamoorthy, 2004; Atiyeh et al., 2002). Extract of thermophillic composts proved to be effective against various fungal diseases of leaves and fruit (Scheuerell and Mahaffee, 2002).              


Tripathi and Bharadwaj (2004) has reported that the nitrogen in the form of mucus, nitrogenous excretory substances, growth, stimulating hormones and enzyme in vermiwash play significant role in germination of seed and development of seedlings of legumes. The significant growth was observed in the black gram spraying by vermiwash (Sudha et al., 2003). Viveka et al., (2005) reported that vermicomposted weeds and its aqueous extract significantly affect the growth and productivity of okra plant. Vermiwash is a natural plant growth supplements for tea, coconut and horticulture crops (Weerasinghe et al., 2006). Vermiwash is a organic source of fertilizer having inorganic N and K. Gamaley et al., (2006) have hypothesized that foliar application of vermiwash promote the physiology of plant, thereby an increase in the yield and quality of product. Significant increase in plant height, number of leaves per plant and chlorophyll content was observed differ 10% diluted foliar spray of vermiwash (Pathak and Ram, 2004).


Kobatke (1954) reported that the coelomic fluid from earthworm body had antibacterial property and its foliar spray on vegetables increased the quality and quantity of yield. It was also observed that foliage turned dense green in to two three days when spray was used on plant other than vegetables (Anonymous, 1993). Ismail (1997) reported that vermiwash can be sprayed on plant as a foliar spray for improving of quality and yields of okra crops.Todkari (2001) studied the effect of vermiwash on growth characteristics, yield of plants and inferred that vermiwash have good nutrient potential. Maximization of yield of flowers, like chrysanthemum and marigold is fertilized with foliar spray of 100% vermiwash, indicate a quick absorption of the nutrients through foliage for better nourishment of beach flowering plants (Todkari and Talashilkar, 2001). 


The significant bio-pesticidal properties of vermiwash prepared form cow dung and vegetable wastes were observed against powdery mildue disease of cow pea (Balam, 2000; Subasashri, 2004).  The vermiwash contain enzyme cocktail of proteases, amylases, ureases and phosphatase and also reported that vermiwash contain nitrogen fixing bacteria like azobacter, agro- bacterium and rizobium species and some phosphate solublizing bacteria (Chaudhary, 2005; Zambare et al., 2008) . Trivedi and Bhatt (2006) suggested that microbes present in the vermiwash significantly influenced the biological cycle of phosphorus, present in organic compounds. The bio-geochemical cycles of phosphorus are decomposed and mineralized by enzymatic complex like phosphatase produced by microbes (Chaudhary, 2005; Zambare et al., 2008). Desai (2003) have conducted a field experiment the effect of city compost and seavage sludge with and without vermiwash on the growth parameter, dry matter and flower yield and found that vermiwash is suitable for quick absorption of major nutrient and better nourishment of china aster.     


Vermiwash contains micro plant nutrients, enzymes such as proteases, amylases, ureases and phosphatase and nitrogen fixing bacteria and some phosphate solublizing bacteria (Zambare, et al., 2008). Vermiwash is also enriched with plant growth hormones like auxines, cytokinin, gibberellins, amino acids, vitamins that increase growth rate, high productivity and resistance against various disease for plant and also act as nematicides (Rao,2005., Zaller,2006., Nath et al.,2009; Gopal et al.,2010). Vermiwash extracted from MSW contain high amount of organic matter, plant nutrients and soluble salts (Astaraei and Ivani, 2008). It is liquid organic bio-fertilizers which have pesticidal nature (Kale, 1998; Grapelli et al., 1987; Umamaheswari et al.,2003). It is a collection of excretory products of earthworms along with major micronutrients of the soil and soil organic molecules that are useful for plants. These bio-liquid is rich in nutrients and plant growth hormones. Vermiwash seems to possess an inherent property of acting not only as a fertilizer but also as a mild biocide (Rekha et al.,2013). The vermiwash also contains enzymes and secretions of earthworms and would stimulate the growth and yield of crops(Rajan and Murugesan,2012).


Kale (1998) reported that vermiwsh as foliar spray was effective in increasing the growth and yield response of anthurium. The work related to the influence of vermiwash on germination and growth of Cow pea (Vigna unguiculata) and Rice (Oryza sativa) were totally wanting.The vermiwash would have enzymes, secretions of earthworms which would stimulate the growth and yield of crops and even develop resistance in crops receiving this spray. Such a preparation would certainly have the soluble plant nutrients apart from some organic acids and mucus of earthworms and microbes (Shivsubramanian and Ganeshkumar, 2004). Vermiwash ,liquid manure is very useful as foliar spray to enhance the plant Vermiwash supplemented medium showed high Cowpea plant growth as compared to without supplementation, it is seen that in vermiwash supplemented medium from 2 to 7 days the growth is linear and latter with less linear (Zambare et al.,2008). Likewise, effect of vermiwash was seen on the growth and productivity of Marigold (Shivsubramanian and Ganeshkumar, 2004). Also, George et al. (2007) reported the effect of vermiwash spray on significantly maximum dry chilli yield.


Thangavel et al., (2003) observed that both growth and yield of paddy increased with the application of vermiwash and vermicast extracts. The vermiwash produced from guava leaf litter showed more content of electrical conductivity, magnesium, calcium, nitrite, phosphorus, carbohydrate, protein, lipid and amino acid compared with the vermiwash produced from the other two sapota and mango leaf litter by using the both earthworm species Eudrillus eugeniae and Lampito mauritii respectively (Sundaravadivelan et al., 2011). The vermiwash of Eudrilus eugeniae have significant effect on the growth and biochemical constituents of Arachis hyphogea (Poorni et al., 2014). Physio chemical analysis of Cow horn manure was indicating that carbon (71.2%), Nitrogen (3.84%),phosphorus (0.06%) and C/N ratio (18.5%) of the cow horn manure was highest than ordinary soil (Karthikeyan  2013).The effect of vermiwash was observed on the plants of brinjal showed significant growth and yield. It was also observed that the plants treated with vermiwash were disease resistant and no any worms like leaf eaters were seen on the leaves and other parts of plants (Sundararasu and Jeyasankar, 2014). The higher amount of humic acid in the leachate resulted from green fodder and the higher responsiveness of the chlorophylls received this treatment which in turn increases the photosynthesis and thus enhances fruit quality (Allahyari et al.,2014).Vermicompost and vermiwash can be utilized as bio- fertilizers in Zea maize production. Application of vermicompost and vermiwash over a given time period promotes Zea maize growth and reproduction (Manyuchi et al., 2013).Tiwari and Singh (2016) reported that the combination of buffalo dung and MSW with neem oil is very effective combination for growth, productivity and early flowering of tomato plant. Management of MSW through recycling and production of vermiwash. With the help of vermiwash and biopesticides enhance growth, flowering and productivity as well as reduction of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) pest infestation (Singh and Chauhan, 2015).


The foliar application of different combinations of vermiwash with neem plant parts have significant effect on growth , flowering , productivity, as well as their pest infestation of brinjal crops (Tiwari and Singh,2015).The foliar spray of vermiwash applied@ 2 % effective at 15, 30 and 45days after sowed seeds than control treatment (without vermiwash) were found best enhance plant height, root length, number of branches per plant, total number of pods per plant, straw weight per plot, seed weight per ha, straw weight per ha, harvest index, net realization and C: B ratio of fenugreek (Jadhav et al., 2014). Samadhiya et al., (2013) observed that the number of leaves and growth of stem of brinjal crops increased with the application of vermiwash and vermicast extracts. The similar results also observed by Ansari and Shukumar (2010), Hatti et al., (2010).Plants grown using different vermiwash in comparison to hydroponically grown showed less moisture, better shoot and root growth, number of leaves, nodes and resistance to insect damage (Ansari et al., 2015). The vermiwash produced from guava leaf litter showed more content of electrical conductivity, magnesium, calcium, nitrite, phosphorus, carbohydrate, protein, lipid and amino acid compared with the vermiwash produced from the other two sapota and mango leaf litter by using the both earthworm species Eudrillus eugeniae and Lampito mauritii respectively (Khyade et al., 2016).



Biopesticide is a formulation made from naturally occurring substances that controls pests by non toxic mechanisms and in ecofriendly manner; hence gaining importance all over the world(Gopalkrishnan et al.,2010, 2011a, 2011b; Murray et al., 2000).  Biopesticides may be derived from animals (e.g. nematodes), plants (Chrysanthemum, Azadirachta) and micro-organisms (e.g. Bacillus thuringiensis, Trichoderma, nucleopolyhedrosis virus), and include living organisms (natural enemies), their products (phytochemicals, microbial products) or byproducts (semiochemicals) which can be used for the management of pests injurious (Majid et al., 2011, Rejitha et al., 2014).


Biopesticides represent only 2.89% (as on 2005) of the overall pesticide market in India and is expected to exhibit an annual growth rate of about 2.3% in the coming years (Thakore, 2006). In India, so far only 12 types of biopesticides have been registered under the Insecticide Act, 1968. Neem based pesticides, Bacillus thuringensis, NPV and Trichoderma are the major biopesticides produced and used in India. Most of the biopesticides find use in public health, except a few that are used in agriculture. Besides, i) transgenic plants and ii) beneficial organisms called bio-agents: are used for pest management in India (Gupta and Dikshit, 2010; Majid et al., 2011).        


Many researches are done to known the insecticidal and acaricidal properties of number of plants and some plant products also compete with synthetic pesticides (Hedin and Hollingworth, 1997).The rich traditional knowledge base available with the highly diverse indigenous communities in India may provide valuable clues for developing newer and effective biopesticide. The stress on organic farming and on residue free commodities would certainly warrant increased adoption of biopesticides by the farmers (Kandpal, 2014). Specially tropical plants have hundreds of secondary metabolites with insecticidal properties (Hiiesaar et al., 2001). They are less harmful to environment and affect many insects in different ways (Khalequzzaman and Sultana, 2006). Anderson et al.,(1989) detected higher insect mortality when B. bassiana and sublethal concentrations of insecticides were applied to control Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), attributing higher rates of synergism between two agents. They pose less threat to the environment and to human health(Gupta and Dikshit, 2010).


The increasing concern for environmental awareness of pesticide hazards has evoked a worldwide interest in the use of pest control agents of bio and plant origin (Hossain, 2007). The use of fungal entomopathogens as alternative to insecticide or combined application of insecticide with fungal entomopathogens could be very useful for insecticide resistant management ( Hoy and Myths, 1999). Bacterial bio-pesticides are probably the most widely used and cheaper than the other methods of pest bioregulation. Insects can be infected with many species of bacteria but those belonging to the genus Bacillus are most widely used as pesticides. One of the Bacillus species, Bacillus thuringiensis, has developed many molecular mechanisms to produce pesticidal toxins; most of toxins are coded for by several cry genes (Schnepf et al., 1998 ). The production of transgenic plants that express insecticidal δ-endotoxins derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt plants) were first commercialized in the US in 1996. The expression of these toxins confers protection against insect crop destruction(Shelton et al., 2000).


Biopesticides have three major categories: plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs), biochemical, and microbial pesticides (Kumar,2012). Plant extracts are known to possess toxic organic poison that is effective in reducing insect pest population (Gaby, 2000) including pod borer (William and Ambridge, 1996). However, several authors have shown the efficacy of different plant materials as biopesticides for the control of different pest of cowpea (Oparaeke et al., 2000b; Okech et al., 1997; Oparaeke, 2004). The leaf extract of Ricinus communis, Datura alba and Strychnos nux vomica causes in fish erratic swimming, loss of reflexes, slow opercular movement and settling at the bottom motionless (Ashrafet al., 2010).Theuse of biopesticides spray, plant based substances and certain indigenous practices offer safe alternatives in pest management. Today, due to awareness about the harmful effects of the chemical insecticides and technological advancement in biopesticides and botanicals production, these bioproducts are becoming popular in pest and disease management in sustainable farming (Sridhar et al.,2014).The powders and oil extracts of the A. indica, Z. zanthoxyliodes, A. occidentale and M. oleiferaare medicinal and risk-free to mammals. Therefore, they could be integrated with other insect pest management system (Ilek and Ogungbite, 2014).

Azadirachta  indica  (Neem):

The neem tree (Azadirachta indica A. Juss.) belongs to family Meliaceae is a tropical evergreen tree (deciduous in drier areas) native to Indian sub-continent (Roxburgh, 1874; Anonymous, 1985) and considered to adversely its genetic diversity in India (Sateesh, 1998).  Neem is called aristain  Sanskrit a word, ‘Indian lilac’ or ‘Margosa’. All parts of of this plant i.e. fruits, seeds, leaves, bark and roots contain compounds with proven antiseptic, antiviral, antipyretic,  anti-inflammatory, antiulcer and antifungal uses (Brahmachari,2004). It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 4000 years due to its medicinal properties. Neem products are effective against more than 350 species of arthropods, 12 species of nematodes, 15 species of fungi, three viruses, two species of snails and one crustacean species (Nigam et al., 1994).


According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimation, annually 2,20,000 deaths occur due to acute poisoning caused by synthetic pesticides  (Sateesh, 1998). The antifungal, antibacterial, insecticidal and other versatile biological activities of these products are well established (Jattan et al., 1995), because of which they find multipurpose use in daily life of humans. The most useful and valuable product of the tree are the seeds which yield 40% of a deep yellow oil, the well known ‘Margosa oil’. Two tetracyclic triterpenoids- meliantetyraolenone and odoratone isolated from neem exhibited insecticidal activity against Anopheles stephensi (Siddiqui et al., 2003). Neem Seed Kernel Extract (NSKE) was found most effective in reducing the larval population of Helicoverpa armigera in chickpea and pod damage (Bhushan et al., 2011).


Over 195 species of insects are affected by neem extracts and insects that have become resistant to synthetic pesticides are also controlled with these extracts. The apprehension that large-scale use of neem based insecticides may lead to resistance among pests, as being observed with synthetic pesticides, has not been proved correct. This is because the neem based insecticides have relatively weak contact effect in insects and also they have unique mode of action on insect’s life cycle and physiology (Anonymous, 1992). Neem formulations also has a significant effect against eggs of peach fruit fly Bactrocera zonata (Saunders) and it is systemic in nature and provide long term protection to plants against pests. Pollinator insects, bees and other useful organisms are not affected by neem based pesticides (Majid et al., 2011).


Neem oil have also medicinal, analgesic, anticholinergic, antihelminthic, antihistaminic, antiprotozoal, antipyretic, antiviral, bactericidal, contraceptives, fungicides, insecticides, insect repellents, veterinary medicines,cosmetics, hair oils, lubricants, propellants, shampoos, soaps and  tooth pastes  (Girish  and Bhat, 2008). Neem (Azadirachta indica) plant part and neem based pesticide have insecticidal properties. It is more effective in oligophagus species than polyphagous ones (Hemavathy and Balaji, 2007). Azadirachtine significantly increase the mortality but decrease the development and fecundity of cabbage aphid (Bravicoryne brassicae).


Achio et al.,(2012) reported that neem (Azadirachta indica) have medicinal and pesticidal properties resulting from its various active components, including azadirachtin. Oil extracted from the neem seed kernel showed even greater lethal properties on the insects and especially the seed oil, has great potential as natural biocide against termites and weevils. Imam et al.,(2012) reported that Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) is the most useful traditional medicinal plant in India.The used of vermiwash and neem based biopesticides have significant per cent germination of seed, growth, early flowering, productivity and reduced the reduced the Earias vittella pest infestation (Singh and Chauhan, 2015).The combinations of vermiwash with neem plant parts reduce the pest infestation of Lucinodes orbanalis (Tiwari and Singh, 2015). Neem biopesticide can be considered fairly acceptable by the general public considering its pesticidal efficacy, healing and other medicinal values, in comparison to conventional Permethrin 0.60% (Zakariya et al., 2014).    


Garlic (Allium  sativum L. ) :

Garlic (Allium sativum) is the plant of family- Amaryllidaceae.  It  is commonly used as vegetable species that can be classified as either a food or a medicinal herb. It is a widely used plant product that is cultivated all over the world. Its closest relatives in the onion genus include the onion, shallot, leek, rakkyo and chive (Block,2010). The name “allium sativum” is derived from the Celtic word “all”, meaning burning or stinging, and the Latin “sativum” meaning planted or cultivated. A member of the Liliaceae family, garlic (Allium sativum) is a cultivated food highly regarded throughout the world. Originally from Central Asia, garlic is one of the earliest of cultivated plants. The Ebers Codex, and Egyptian medical papyrus dating to about 1550 B.C.E. mentions garlic as an effective remedy for a variety of ailments. Early men of medicine such as Hippocrates, Pliny and Aristotle espoused a number of therapeutic uses for this botanical (Murray 2005).


Garlic (Allium  sativum L. )  is  a  valuable  spice  plant  used  as  a  food  item  as  well  as  medicine  in  different  parts  of  the  world.  At  the  beginning  of  the  present  century  garlic  was  used  in  medicine  on  the  basis  of  traditional  experience  passed  from  generation  to  generation. The bulbs are mainly composed of water (approximately 84.09%), organic matter (13.38%) and inorganic matter (1.53%). The leaves consist of more or less the same components with slightly different ratios (water 87.14%, organic matter 11.27% and inorganic matter 1.59%) (Bilyk A, Sapers,1985; Abdel-Fattah AF, Edrees M. A, 1972). According to the US Food and Drug Administration survey of 900 people, garlic stands as the second most utilized supplement (behind Echinacea), with almost 17% of the population using a garlic supplement in the preceding 12 months (Timbo et al., 2006).Recent studies from Korea has further elucidated novel sulfur containing nitrogenous compounds responsible for the greening process of crushed or bruised garlic.


These compounds are not released when the garlic is finely peeled and have been found to differ significantly from other green plant pigments (Lee et al. 2007). The organic matter is mostly carbohydrates while the inorganic matter is compounds such as sulphur and iron. The large number of sulfur compounds contributes to the smell and taste of garlic. Allicin has been found to be the compound most responsible for the "hot" sensation of raw garlic (RG) (Macpherson et al.,2005). Allicin, along with its decomposition products diallyl disulphide and diallyl trisulphide, are major contributors to the characteristic odour of garlic, while other allicin-derived compounds, such as vinyldithiins and ajoene show beneficial in vitro biological activity (Block,2010). Garlic was an important medicine to the ancient Egyptians listed in the medical text Codex Ebers (ca. 1550 BC) specially for the working class involved in heavy labor . There is evidence that during the earliest Olympics in Greece, garlic was fed to the athletes for increasing stamina (Lawson,1998; Moyers,1996). Neem, West African black pepper, garlic bulb and African nutmeg, Lippia adoensis Hoschst have been reported to be effective against some crop pests species (Oparaeke et al., 2000a). Neem, garlic and ginger extracts contain insecticidal properties that are lethal to a wide range of insects including Maruca vitrata, M. sjostedti, Clavigralla tomentosicollis and O. phaseoli (Stoll, 1988; Oparaeke, 2007). Panhwar (2002) also reported that good aqueous solution of garlic, ginger and neem will effectively control worms, beetles and thrips in cowpea.Various novel botanical extracts have been investigated for their insecticidal properties; these include extracts from the neem tree (Dhar et al., 1996), thyme (Mansour et al., 2000), avocado (Rodriguez-Saona and Trumble, 1996), citronella (Lindsay et al., 1996) and garlic (Birrenkott et al., 2000).


Garlic, Allium sativum L., extracts have shown considerable toxicity to a number of pest species, across all life stages; susceptible orders include the Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Heteroptera and the Diptera(Gareth et al.,2006). Despite having a minimal amount of ions and other compounds, those that are present play a very important role in the composition and overall beneficial effects that garlic potentially possesses (Prasad, 2010). Aqueous garlic extracts have been shown  to inhibit egg hatch of mosquitoes whereas, garlic extracts and steam distillates are reported as having toxic and antifeedant effects on both coleopteran stored product pests  and Lepidoptera (Gurusubramanian and Krishna, 1996; Chiam et al., 1999; ; Jarial, 2001),). Repellent and toxic effects upon Hemiptera have also been reported (Flint et al., 1995; Gurusubramanian and Krishna, 1996). An increase in the amount of cholesterol in the body can lead to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques and this is a risk factor for both heart attacks and strokes. Garlic biopesticides have the unique property of repelling and preventing the insects from feeding especially the sucking pests. The biopesticide is compatible with chemical insecticides and fertilizers.


The garlic biopesticide not harmful to natural enemies, pollinators and other beneficials, are cheaper and compatible with other organics and chemicals. They can form an important IPM tool in sustainable and organic cultivated farming systems. Plant lectins have been reported to affect survival and development of insect pests (Ferry et al., 2004). For example, the Allium sativum (garlic) leaf lectin (ASAL) has been reported to reduce pupal weight, pupal period, pupation and adult emergence of the pod borer Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) (Arora et al., 2005).Garlic  produces a variety of volatile sulfur based compounds  which are effective as insect repellents and insecticides. Diallyl disulfide is one of such compounds which has a strong odour and acts as a powerful insecticide (Kaufman et al., 1999).


Pulse crops:

A.    Pigeon pea 

The pulses have been grown by farmers since millennia providing nutritionally balanced food to the people of India and many other countries in the world (Nene, 2006). The more common vernacular names include: mung bean, green gram, golden gram (En). Haricot mungo, mungo, ambérique, haricot doré (Fr). Feijão mungo verde (Po). Mchooko, mchoroko (Sw) (Mogotsi, 2006).  While green gram cultivation spread over to many countries, especially in tropical and subtropical Asia, black gram (Vigna mungo) cultivation has remained more or less confined to South Asia.Pigeonpea (Cajanus  cajan (L. Mill)) is an important pulse crop in Asia which serves a major source of protein in the vegetarian Indian population. Pigeon pea consists of 22.3% proteins, 1.7% fats, 57.2% carbohydrates and 3.6% minerals (Singh et al., 2004). Cajanin and concajanin are two important proteins present in pigeon pea (Mishra et al., 2014).


The progenitor of these pulses is believed to be Vigna trilobata which grows wild in India (Nene, 2006). A pilot study in collaboration with Vivekananda Parvathiya Krishi Anusandhan Sansthan (VPKAS), Almora and the Department of Agriculture, Uttarakhand, with several on-farm trials across different elevations in the state during 2007-10 indicated that pigeonpea variety ‘VL Arhar-1’ (ICPL 88039) can be grown successfully in low and medium hill regions (Saxena et al., 2011). Among the legumes pigeonpea or red gram (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh) occupies an important place in rainfed agriculture. Globally, it is cultivated on 4.79 M ha in 22 countries but with only a few major producers(FAO ,2008). The presence of high genetic diversity made (Vavilov, 1939; De, D.N. 1974; van der Maesen, L.J.G, 1980) to believe that India is the primary center of origin of cultivated pigeon pea from where it spread to Africa about 4000 years ago. There are several local names of Cajanus cajan in different parts of the world (Saxena, 2008). Among these “pigeonpea” is the globally popular name in Barbados where the crop was grown in barren lands for feeding its seeds to pigeons (Plukenet,1692).


In India it is popularly known as red gram, tur, or arhar. Pigeonpea is a perennial plant and it can survive up to 3-4 years (Saxena, 2008).It is reported that large variability for various chemical constituents and nutritive value of pigeon pea(Sharma et al.,1977; Manimekalai et al.,1979; Singh et al.,1984 ). In order to know the major chemical constituents of pigeon pea leaves, efforts were made to isolate and iden-tify various active chemical compounds. The research efforts revealed that some polyphenols, especially fla-vonoids, play an important role in curing certain human ailments (Liu et al.,2008;Yuan et al., 2004;Fan et al., 2002; Yuan et al.,1999). The four major flavonoids identified in the extracts of pigeonpea leaves are quercetin, luteolin, apigenin, and isorhamnetin. These compounds are known for their important pharmacological activities (Chen et al, 1985, Paul et al., 2003; Lin et al.,1999)The pigeon pea is attacked by more than 250 spcies of insects of which gram pod borer H armigera  are the most polyphagus insect pest in both tropics and sub tropics because of their extensive host range distructiveness and distribution on cow pea, mungbean, urdbean and fieldbean (Shanower et al., 1999). Helicoverpa causes heavy loss up to 60%  with an annual loss estimated to be US $400 million in pigeon pea(Anonymous,2007).Many time farmers have to face the situation like draught condition. It’s not only affect the farming but also affect the socioeconomic condition of farmer (Keshav et al., 2014). Even if having divers cropping pattern the growth and instability of pigeon pea   crop shows significant and positive growth rate with respect to area, production and productivity over the period of time (Rachana, 2015).



B.   Gram pea:

 Gram (chick pea) is the crop of tropical, subtropical and temperate region and widely grown in Utter Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharastra which is popularly used as a protein adjunct to starchy diets (Wakil et al.,2009). Seeds are widely consumed as pulse and in the form of flour which is largely fed to the horse and eaten after roasting. Gram (Cicer arietinum) family Leguminaceae is one of the most important pulse crops. Seed of gram contains 17.1% protein, 5.3% fats, 61.2% carbohydrates, 3.9%  fibers and 2.7% minerals (Singh et al.,2005). Rahman  et al. (1982) reported that gram is attacked by eleven species of insect pest and among these gram pod borer  Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) considered the most destructive borer because of its high fecundity, migratory behavior, polyphagus nature and resistance against insecticides (Begum et al.,1992; Babariya et al.,2010). The yield loss of 400Kg/ha by pod- borer was resulted after 30-40% average damage of pods during favourable weather conditions and the damage reached upto 90-95% (Rahman,1990; Sachan and  Katti, 1994). Farmers are unwilling to cultivate chick pea because of heavy yield loss caused by this pest (Hossain,2007).


Chudhary and Sharma (1982) reported that a single larvae of H. armigera damaged 7-10% pods, which caused ~5.4% yield loss and damaged 6.7% pods and 6.2% gain per meter row length of the chick pea crop. Phokela et al.,(1990) reported that H. armigera infesting chickpea developed resistance against many insecticides. Zambare et al., (2008) have observed that vermiwash supplemented with enzyme of proteases, amylases, urease, phosphatases, nitrogen fixing bacteria like Azotobacter sp, Agrobacterium species and Rhizobium sp which may be important of gram growth. The significantly increased the growth of gram plants was observed due to foliar spray of vermiwash and neem based biopesticides (Chauhan and Singh, 2014). Helicoverpa armigera (hubner) is the most serious insect pest in most of the chick pea growing areas of the country (Begum et al; 1992),on average about 30 to 40% pods were  found to be damaged by the pod borer resulting in yield loss of 400 kg/ha due to pod borer damage (Rahaman ,1990). Under favorable weather condition the damage to pod could increase up to 90 to 95% (Sachan and Katti, 1994).


Among the various constraints, incidence of gram pod borer Helicoverpa armigera is the major cause of low production in chickpea (Srivastav and Srivastav, 1990).It is a very serious pest and has assumed the status of national pest in India, due to its high fecundity migratory behavior , high adaptation to various agro climatic condition and  development of  resistant against various insecticides, it causes damage to various crops  and it has become increasingly important and more acute in northern states of India (Mishra et al.,2013).Chick is most  preferred host of this species which suffers losses of the tune of 25-70% (Tripathi and Sharma, 1984). Pod borer attracts toward chick pea because of the concentration of malic acid which is present in its trichome and the trichomes are hair, it present on epidermis of plant  (Yoshida  et al, 1997) .Vermiwash and its combination with biopesticides were effective against pod borer which are injurious to the gram plant (Nath and Singh, 2015).


Helicoverpa armigera :

The genus Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) belongs to family Noctuidae of insect order Lepidoptera. Its commonlycalled bollworm, corn earworm and cotton bollworm.  It is widely distributed in Asia, Africa, Australia and southern Europe H. armigera is a polyphagous pest of pigeon, gram cotton, corn, sorghum, millet, beans, tomato, potato, eggplant, etc.


Helicoverpa armigera is recognized as one of the most significant agricultural pests in Asia, Europe, Africa and Australasia, with damages estimated at a couple of billion US dollars annually, not including the socio-economic and environmental costs associated with chemical control and the introduction of GM crops (CABI, EPPO 1996, Tay et al., 2013, Warren,  2013).The old world bollworm has been recognized as one of the most serious bio security threats to the Americas where it has the potential to become established across much of the South and North American continents with far greater potential economic damage than the native H. zea (Pogue 2004, Tay et al., 2013; Venette et al., 2003). Females of the cotton bollworm start laying eggs 2-6 days after emergence. They can lay between 500 and 3000 eggs, which hatch three days after oviposition.


The 1st and 2nd second instars larvae are generally yellowish white to reddish-brown in color and lack prominent markings; their head, prothoracic shield, supra-anal shield, prothoracic legs, as well as the spiracles and the tuberculate bases of setae are very dark-brown to black and give the larva a spotted appearance. A characteristic color pattern develops in subsequent instars that can be somewhat variable and is formed from shades of green, straw-yellow and pinkish- to reddish-brown or even black (CABI, 2013 and CABI, EPPO, 1996). The Old World bollworm is considered omnivorous, with the larvae attacking at least 60 cultivated and 67 wild host plants from numerous families including Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Malvaceae, Poaceae and Solanaceae (Fitt, 1989, Pogue, 2004).


The identification of species is complicated and presents multiple problems. Hardwick (1965) was reviewed the complex of species in the New and Old World (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Heliothinae), most of which were previously referred as a single species in the genus Heliothis (either as H. armigera or H. obsoleta), and pointed out that this was actually a species complex. Hardwick (1965, 1970) also proposed that H. zea (New World) and H. armigera (New World) were distinct species based on differences in the genitalia and that both species belonged to the genus Helicoverpa, which compromises 17 species (Hardwick, 1965, 1970). According to Warren (2013), infestations of Helicoverpa species in Brazil during the last two growing seasons resulted in economic losses of up to US$ 10 billion Hackett and Gatehouse (1982), Pogue (2004).


The adult of this insect is of 4.45 cm , its wing is reddish brown , olive, greenish ting on outer margins with darker bands and spots Gram pod borer H. armigera is considered as notorious pest of chickpea, besides it is also known as cotton bollworm, gram caterpillar, tomato fruit worm and tobacco bud worm (Atwal and Dhaliwal., 1997).This noctuidae pest is distributed eastwards from southern Europe and Africa through the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia, and thence to China, Japan, Australia and the Pacific Islands (Reed,1965 ). Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) is one of the most important and widely grown oil seed crops in the world. Successful production in soybean cropping systems is hampered due to the incidence of several insect pests such as Etiella zinkienella Treitschke, Tetranychus urticae Koch, Thrips tabaci Lindeman, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) and Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Naseri et al.,2009,2010; Sedaratian et al.,2009,2010,2011; Soleimannejad et al.,2010; Mehrkhou et al.,2012; Taghizadeh et al.,2012).


Among these pests, H. armigera represents a significant challenge to soybean production in different soybean-growing areas around the world. Helicoverpa armigera is an important pest of many crops in many parts of the world and is reported to attack more than 60 plant species belonging to more than 47 families (such as soybean, cotton, sorghum, maize,sunflower, groundnuts, cowpea, tomato and green pepper) (Zalucki et al.,1994; Fathipour and Naseri,2011; Karimi et al.,2012). The pest status of this species can be derived from its four life history characteristics (polyphagy, high mobility, high fecundity and a facultative diapause) that enable it to survive in unstable habitats and adapt to seasonal changes. Direct damage of the larvae of this noctuid pest to flowering and fruiting structures together with extensive insecticide spraying resulted in low crop yield and high costs of production ( Fitt).


Young larvae (2nd and 3rd instars) cause upto 65 percent losses to cotton yield (Rasool et al., 2002; Tomar et al., 2000). Indiscriminate use of pesticides has great impact on biodiversity and development of resistance in insect pests (Bashir et al., 2001; Qayum et al., 1990). Zheng et al., (2002) reported that early sowing resulted in lower bollworm resistance and late sowing enhanced the bollworm resistance in China.


The cotton bollworm/legume pod borer causes annual loss of over $2 billion in the semiarid tropics, despite application of insecticides costing over $500 million annually (Sharma, 2005). Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) (Berliner) has been used extensively for the management of lepidopteran insect pests particularly H. armigera , in India, China, Philippines, Malaysia, and North America (Gujar, 2005). The solitary endoparasitoid Campoletis chlorideae Uchida (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) is an important biocontrol agent of H. armigera larvae in pigeonpea, chickpea, and cotton (Patel and Patel, 1972; Bhatnagar et al., 1982; Kumar et al., 1994; Romeis and Shanower, 1996).


Helicoverpa armigera is a polyphagous pest with a wide host plant range including: cotton ,corn, sorghum, millet, beans, tomato, potato, eggplants(Mishra et al.,2013; Chauhan and singh, 2014).Nessay et al.,(2010) observed that the importance of pest control; with no pesticide application, Helicoverpa armigera affects drastically vegetable production. Wu et al., (2006a) reported that the life span of Helicoverpa armigera was delayed and larvae feed on artificial diet and produced more frass under elevated co2 compared with those under ambient co2.Further more elevated co2 marginally influenced the artificial diet utilization efficiency of H. armigera larvae that decrease in relative growth rate (RGR), relative consumption rate (RCR) efficiency of conversion in ingested food. The significantly longer larvae life span for the third generation and lower pupal weight for all generation were observed in H. armigera feed on milky grains of spring wheat grounds in elevated co2 reported by the Wu et al.,(2006b). Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera litura are the key production constraints in several crops including sunflower, chick pea , pigeon pea, lentil chilies, tomato, tobacco and cotton.Global losses due to Helicoverpa armigera and Spodopera litura have been estimated to be over 2 billion US$ annually of which 80% loss occurs in India causing wide spread misery and frequent crop failures (Grazywacz et al.,2005) . The cotton bollworm is highly polyphagous, multivoltine and economically important pest of cotton and other crops (Nair et al., 2010) and severe damage less to avoid range of food, all fooder vegetables, horticultural, ornamental, aromatic and medicinal plants (Nadda et al., 2012).


The larvae of this pest feed on a wide range of the economically important crops including cotton, corn tomato, sunflower legumes, tobacco and several cucurbitous and citrous crops . In India, where H. armigera commonly destroys more than half the yield crop, losses were estimated at over $300 million per annum (Reed and Pawar, 1981). Field failure resulting from H. armigera resistance to pyrethroids has been reported worldwide by many  authors (Forestor, Cahil, Bird, layland,1993).On cotton apart from spotted bollworm , Earias species and pink bollworms Pectinophora gossypiella (Sonders),cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera is a serious pest causing 14-56% damage (Kaushik et al.,1969;Manjunath et al., 1989; Jayraj,1990).Under agro climatic condition of Haryana, this pest completes its life cycle  in the cotton season in about one month with larval and pupal duration of 15-20 and 9-13 days , respectively from July to September, thus it completes 3 or 4 generations on cotton before the onset of winter when a proportion of the population inters winter pupal dipause (Kumar,2005).The gram pod borer Helicoverpa armigera is one of the most damaging  and devastating pests (Khan, 1979).Globally, few insect pests cause as much economic crop losses as does. Helicoverpa armigera better known under its previous name Heliothis armigera (Reed and Pawar,1982).Due to heavy infestation of the insect serious decline in production has been reported by different workers like Kumar and Smithson(1980)21%, Vashmpayan and Veda (1980) 10-16%,Khan and Faizullah (1999)37-50%.


Choudhary and Sharma (1982) reported that a single larvae of Helicoverpa armigera damaged 7-10% pods, caused about 5.4% yield loss and damaged 6.7% pods and 6.2% grains per meter row length of  the gram crop. Among various species of Helicoverpa  found  worldwide ,three species ,namely Helicoverpa armigera, Helicoverpa assulta and Helicoverpa prltigera have been recorded on most important crops in India (Singh,2005).Helicoverpa armigera is the most serious pest harboring over 181 plant species belonging to45 families (Srivastav et al, 2005). Due to its attack, serious and extensively yield losses has been reported in some legumes (or pulses) from 28-40% insuring economic loss up to300 million dollars annually (Nazzarullah et a.l, 2007; Srivastav et al., 2005). Zheng et al., (2002) reported that early sowing resulted in lower bollworm resistance and late sowing enhanced the bollworm resistance in china.


The cotton bollworm , Helicoverpa armigera is widely distributed across different continents throughout Africa, Southern Europe , the middle East India, Southeast Asia, Australia, eastern  and  Newzealand  and many specific islands (Fitt,1989) including USA (Brochert et al., 2003).The annual losses due to cotton and pulses alone by Helicoverpa armigera have estimated a US $500 billion (Shanower et al.,1999).Since the first major outbreak of Helicoverpa armigera reported in 1977-78 on chickpea and pigeon pea (Rao et al.,1990),in Andhra Pradesh, India, it has gained importance as a pest in cotton and food crop agro-ecosystem.Helicoverpa armigera represents a significant challenge to soybean cropping systems in many parts of the world and remain the target for concentrated management with synthetic insecticides. However, the extensive use of insecticides for combating H. armigera populations is ofenvironmental concern and has repeatedly led to the development of resistance in this pest as well as the deleterious effects on nontarget organisms and environment (Ha et al., 2013).


Effect of Vermiwash with biopesticide on plant and their pest infestation:

The use of vermiwash with aquous extract of garlic bulb and neem based biopesticides have significant per cent germination of seed, growth, early flowering, productivity and reduced the H. armizera pest infestation (Nath and Singh, 2015). Thus vermiwash used be a better technology for pest infestation and used as organic  farming. The use of vermiwash and biopesticides are less  expensive, non hazardous and eco-friendly for human as  well as animal health (Chauhan and Singh ,2014). Parbhu et al.,(2003) reported the presence of large number of beneficial microorganism present in vermiwash help in plant growth and protect it from a number of infections. . Maximization of yield of flowers, like chrysanthemum and marigold is fertilized with foliar spray of 100% vermiwash, indicate a quick absorption of the nutrients through foliage for better nourishment of beach flowering plants (Todkari and Talashilkar, 2001).


The aqueous extract obtained from different, neem part and garlic bulb caused a significant reduction in pod damage per cent and promotes the growth, and productivity of gram plant (Arora et al., 2005). Vermiwash of different animal dung with municipal solid wastes have significant amount of nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium, potassium, vitamins, enzyme and plant growth hormones (Astaraei and Reihaneh, 2008). It was observed that among all the biopesticides tested the aqueous extract of garlic and neem oil with combination of vermiwash of different animal dung and municipal solid wastes caused maximum significant per cent reduction of pod infestation by Helicoverpa armigera. The vermiwash of buffalo dung and municipal solid wastes with different biopesticides  have significant growth of gram plant. It has been suggested that the dramatic increase in microbial  population in organic matter by earthworms could result in production of significant quantities of plant growth regulators such as indole acetic acid, gibberellins and cytokinines and hormone like activity in the vermicompost. Humic acid productions during vermicomposting process have positive effect on plant growth (Ramamoorthy,2004; Atiyeh et al.,2002). Sudha et al. (2003) also studied the significant effect of vermiwash on the growth of black gram (Vigna mungo).


The earliest flowering period of gram plant was observed after the spray of vermiwash obtained from buffalo dung and municipal solid wastes with garlic extract followed by combination of buffalo dung and municipal solid wastes. Vermicompost and its extract improved the early flowering period because it may be possible that during vermicomposting process the more conversion of mineral nutrients (Total kjeldahl nitrogen and Total potassium) into more plant available forms (Atiyeh et al., 2007). Large amount of TKN and TP caused early flowering in Daucus carota and tomato plant (Muscolo et al.,1999;Satpal and Saimbhi 2003). The combination of buffalo dung and municipal  solid with garlic extract shows significantly maximum productivity in gram which was due to presence of  essential component especially humic acid in vermiwash of MSW. The foliar spray of MSW vermiwash causes persistence of water droplet on the leaves surface which promotes the leaf thickness, increase photosynthetic activity, internode growth, improved plant physiology and ultimately increase the yield (Astaraei and Reihaneh, 2008, Gamaley et al.,2006).


 Combination of buffalo dung +MSW with neem oil/garlic extract is very effective combination for growth and productivity of gram plant. It is also clear that the foliar spray of Vermiwash fulfills the all necessary requirement of growing plant and make easily available mineral nutrient in growth, flowering and productivity. Through these methods farmers not only control the Helicoverpa population as well as increase their leguminous crop productivity (Mishra et al.,2013). The vermiwash with aqueous extract of neem plant parts showed significant germination of gram (Cicer aritenum) plant may be due to presence of different plant hormones and micro-macro nutrients in vermiwash. Vermiwash of different wastes are rich source of enzymes, vitamins, plant growth hormones (such as IAA, gibberellins, cytokines) and also provide nutrients (such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium etc.) (Gopal et al.,2010, Pathak and Ram, 2004, Nath  and  Singh, 2012.). Zambare et al., (2008) have observed that Vermiwash supplemented with enzymes of proteases amylases, urease, phosphatases, and nitrogen fixing bacteria like Azotobactor sp, Agrobacterium species and Rhizobium species which may be important for gram growth. Nath and singh (2011a) observed the significant growth of cauliflower after foliar spray of Vermiwash of animal dung with a ground kitchen wastes. The effect of Vermiwash and different neem based biopesticide were observed in the flowering of gram plant may be due to presence of   important inorganic and organic nutrient for flowering present in Vermiwash. The hormones auxines promotes the plant growth and gibberellins stimulate the early flowering in long photo period plant ( Krishnamoorthy and  Vajranabhaih,1986; Edwards et al.,2004).

The effect of foliar spray of vermiwash obtained from municipal solid wastes and buffalo dung with neem based biopesticides showed significant productivity of gram plant  may be due to vermiwash and neem based biopesticides which also protect the pod/grains. The maximum no. of pod per plant was observed in treated with VW+NF > VW+NB showed that neem based fruit biopesticides were more protective than bark. Ponnusamy (2003) reported that the reduction in bug population by application of neem based biopesticides on rice crop. Nath et al. (2008) recorded that significant reduction in the population of Helicoverpa armigera larvae after spray of vermiwash with neem based pesticides on the Cajanus cajan crop. Wondafrash et al.,(2012) was also observed that the water extract obtained from neem leaf extract caused significant decrease in feeding and survival behavior of insect pest. The vermiwash with bio-pesticide is the better option for the growth, productivity as well as management of Lucinodes orbonalis infestation on brinjal crop. The foliar spray of vermiwash provide necessary nutrient to the growing plant for elongation, early flowering and fruiting phase. The bio-pesticide are more effective against larvae and caterpillar of fruit and shoot borer without contamination of fruits, so it is the best alternative of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for management of Lucinodes orbonalis population and enhancement of the productivity of fruit yield (Mishra et al., 2014). Applications of vermiwash with biopesticides in agricultural farms meet the demand of nutrients to the plants and their resistance against pest (Nath et al., 2009). Nath and Singh (2008) recorded high reduction in H. armigera larvae at 7 and 14 days after spray by two application of NSKE. Earliest flowering of pigeon pea crop was observed after spray of vermiwash of cow dung with MSW (2:1 ratio) singly and in binary combination, the earliest flowering was observed when vermiwash of cow dung and MSW (2:1 ratio) was used with neem oil extract (Mishra et al., 2014). Zaller (2006) has suggested that various effect of foliar spraying of vermicomposts extract on fruit quality and indication of ‘Late blight’ suppression of field grown tomatoes. Generally, foliar spray would offer a method of supplying nutrients to higher plants more rapidly than root application (Marschner, 1995; Shweta et al., 2004). Nath et al., (2011) also reported that the vermicompost of buffalo dung+gram bran with aqueous extract of garlic bulb/neem oil were very effective against infestation of nematode in agrilcultural field which ultimately enhance the productivity of brinjal (Solanum melongena L.) crop.


Vermiwash is a liquid extract of vermicompost and have micro and macronutrients along with several plant growth  hormones, enzymes and vitamins, which enhance the growth, productivity and provides protection against neem based pesticides have insecticidal properties various disease ((Singh 2004; Shukla and Upadhyay, 2007; Anand, et al., 1995; Buckerfield et al., 1999; Karuna et al., 1999; Rao 2005; Yadav et al., 2005). Application of vermicompost @2.5 t ha -1 followed by four sprays with neem seed kernel extract (NSKE) 5% and Neemazal at 2, 5, 7 and 11 weeks after transplanting alternatively and neem cake @0.5 t ha -1 followed by with neem seed kernel extract (NSKE) 5% and Neemazal at 2, 5, 7 and 11 weeks after transplanting alternatively recorded significantly less population of thrips, mites and leaf curl index and improved growth parameters and chilli yield (George, 2006). Combination of neem cake@500 and 1000 kg ha -1 with vermicompost @2500 kg ha -1 along with 50 percent RDN proved to be most effective in reducing thrips, mite and leaf curl index (Varghese, 2003).The combination of vermiwash with biopesticides is best alternative of chemical fertilizers and pesticides  for better growth and productivity of tomato crops (Nath and Singh, 2011).


It is clear from the above studies that the vermiwash with biopesticide obtains from neem plant part and garlic extract will be very effective against agricultural pest and also a potent source for plant growth. In the present study attention will be focused on the preparation of different type of vermiwash from different animal and agro wastes with water hyacinth wastes singly and in binary combinations as well as biopesticides. Effect of these vermiwash and biopesticide on growth, flowering, productivity and specific pest infestation of certain crops will be studied.  Chemical analysis of vermiwash of different combinations of these wastes will be performed to correlate their effect on plants. It is hoped that the present study will be an efficient biotechnological tool (liquid biofertilizers) obtained from different wastes for enhancement of plant growth, yield and their pest infestation.



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Received on 14.05.2016       Modified on 20.06.2016

Accepted on 21.07.2016      ©A&V Publications All right reserved

Res.  J. Pharmacognosy and Phytochem. 2016; 8(3): 172-202.

DOI: 10.5958/0975-4385.2016.00029.7