6 Types of Pests Affecting Rice Farms

Missing hills, chopped seedlings, and rotting leaves are just a few examples of the kinds of damage to crops that rice planting farmers may ...

Missing hills, chopped seedlings, and rotting leaves are just a few examples of the kinds of damage to crops that rice planting farmers may face due to poor pest management. These pests can cause high percentages of yield loss, ranging from 30-70 percent, if they aren’t addressed properly. Understanding how these organisms thrive on rice fields and the kinds of damage they inflict on rice crops can help farmers detect their existence and come up with solutions to eradicate them from their fields, thus improving their rice planting activities. 

6 Types of Pests Affecting Rice Farms
Read on to know more about the six common types of pests that affect rice farms and discover how to manage or eradicate them to lessen crop problems in rice farms. 


Rodents are commonly active at night and avoid daylight and open areas to steer clear of predators. They like to make their nests near a water source, and they tend to make sure that their burrows are hidden by weeds. They can reproduce all year round in the Philippines as long as they have food and water. 

The damage rodents cause in rice farms aren’t just related to their consumption of the grains. They also like to pull plants from the soil and bite on their tillers. Due to this behavior, farmers could lose hills, seedlings, and grains during different stages of plant growth. 

Early detection is one of the best ways to eradicate or manage rodent infestation. Once rats are detected, a farmer can fumigate or flood rat nests to control them. Dogs can also be used to scare rats away from farms. 


Insect Pests


Armyworms are nocturnal worms that tend to thrive in rice farms after heavy rains that follow dry spells, as this season brings them more food to consume. Signs of their existence can be seen when rice plants have bitten-off leaves, but armyworms can also devour whole leaves. 


Planthoppers suck the juices out of rice plants that can leave them dead and discolored. Wet environments can encourage these small bugs to flourish, which can cause an infestation in rice farms. 

To prevent infestation of both armyworms and planthoppers, a farmer can grow and nurture their natural predators instead of killing them. Dragonflies, wolf spiders, spotted beetles, wasps, and mirid bugs are just a few examples of natural predators that consume armyworms and planthoppers’ eggs. 

Bacterial and Fungal Diseases

Bacterial Blight

Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae is the bacterium that causes bacterial blight disease. This disease dries the plant, causing seedlings to wilt and leaves to have yellow-orange streaks. Infection can also cause leaves to turn yellow completely.

Planting injured crops during rainy weather and when temperatures are warm can make crops susceptible to this bacteria. On the other hand, planting varieties of rice like the NSIC Rc142 and NSIC Rc154, as well as PSB Rc82, will deter bacterial blight as these varieties have genes that are resistant to the bacterium. 

Sheath Rot

The fungus Sarocladium oryzae is what causes sheaths to rot that is characteristic of this particular disease. Sheath rot disease disrupts panicles from emerging from the crop, and it also causes reddish-brown lesions on the sheath of the rice plant.

The fungus originates in the soil and thrives  when temperatures are between 25° to 28°. Excessive use of nitrogen fertilizer can also cause the fungal infection to worsen. 

To prevent the fungus from causing sheaths to rot, use clean seeds and lessen nitrogen fertilizer usage. Weeds can act as another host for this fungus, so removing weeds can also lessen infection. 


Golden apple snails were originally raised to be a food source for humans, but they ended up becoming a pest as they reproduced exponentially and consumed young seedlings of rice plants. They live in wet environments but can survive dry weather conditions by burying themselves in moist soil. 

Herding ducks can prevent golden apple snail infestations as ducks are natural predators of these snails. Ducks have also been proven to be more effective at eradicating golden apple snails than using molluscicides. Using the dry land preparation method, where the soil is not puddled with water, can also discourage these snails from thriving on the rice field. 

Root-Knot Roundworms

Root-knot roundworms, also known as root-knot nematodes, are parasitic worms that cause the root of rice plants to form knots that look like hooks. These parasites drain the nutrients of the rice plant, stunting its growth and distorting its leaves. The parasite can be prevented from invading roots by practicing crop rotation and flooding rice fields consistently. 



Birds like the Eurasian tree sparrows, also known as maya in the Philippines, eat rice grains and can cause grains to drop when the birds perch on the plant. Maya birds, in particular, like to suck the juices of young seedlings, preventing these plants from maturing. The best way to prevent them from causing damage to rice fields is to scare them away.

Farmers can lessen yield loss and prevent crop damage by properly managing these six types of pests. One of the best ways to discourage these pests from thriving is to use f biological pest control methods, which can be integrated into a holistic pest management strategy . Doing this will ensure healthy plant growth and quality grains during the harvesting period. Avoid relying solely on chemical solutions as these can also affect crop quality and growth.

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