Stem Borer : Chilo
- It is a serious pest attacking the cane sporadically.
- The central whorl of leaves dries up in the
- The newly hatched caterpillars are gregarious
in habit and bore into the top three to five
- The caterpillars sometime after the third or fourth stage
migrate to-fresh canes or bore into the lower healthy portion
of the same cane and riddle it completely.
- The pest causes a major damage to the crop from June to August.
- Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
- The eggs are laid in masses on the undersurface of the
newly opened leaves.
- These hatch in seven to ten days and the young caterpillars
enter into the topmost internode.
- After about ten days, the caterpillars migrate to the adjoining
canes, each attaching a separate intercode.
- The caterpillars pupate inside the cane after 26 to 46 days,
and moths emerge from the pupae in 6 to 11 days.
- There are overlapping generations of the pest in the field
- Remove damage cane tops in the initial stage of the attack,
before the caterpillars migrate to fresh cannes.
- Catch the months in light-traps to help reduce the pest population
in the field.
- Spray with endrin 0.1 per cent during June-July
Stalk Borer : (Chilotraea
- It is one of the most destructive sugarcane borers occurring
in India and is of great importance in the entire sugarcane
tract from eastern Bihar to the central and northern districts
of Uttar Pradesh.
- The caterpillars feed on the unopened leaves and then
bore into the stem and make a long tunnel by feeding on the
internal tissue. Often six or Seven caterpillars or even more
are found in one cane stalk. The attacked cane invariably
shows signs of dead-heart.
- The pest sometimes causes a 33 per cent damage. Besides sugarcane,
it has been reported to occur on paddy and Johnson grass which
are its alternative host plants.
- Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, the Punjab and Rajasthan.
- The eggs are oval, and are laid in clusters on the leaves.
They hatch in about seven days. The caterpillar has four violet
stripes on the body and resembles C. infuscatellus
in colour but is comparatively long in size.
- There are five moults, each occurring after three to five
days, before the caterpillar pupates. The larval period is
normally 15 to 25 days. Pupation occurs inside the
cane and the moth emerges in six to ten days through the exit
hole the caterpillar makes before pupating.
- The moth is greyish in colour with golden spots on the margin
of the forewing.
- There are six generations of the pest in north India and the
maximum damage is done by the winter brood which is active
from December to February.
1. Provide proper drainage in the field since the damage
is severe in water-logged fields due to the lodging of canes.
2. As far as possible, avoid taking
a ratoon crop.
White Fly : Aleurolobus
- It is a serious pest of the sugarcane especially of
ratoon crops, but it also attacks the planted crop
in low-lying and water-logged areas.
- The white fly and the nymphs cause injury by sucking
the sap from the leaves and turning them yellow.
- Heavily attacked Sugarcane plants have a
sickly growth and cane yield in an infested
field is poor.
The Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madras, Maharashtra,
Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh.
- The eggs are laid in a row on the undersurface of the
leaves, near the midrib.
- They are light pale in colour, attached to a short filament
and hatch within a week.
- The nymphs are oval, and on hatching attach themselves to
the leaves. Further development of the nymphs into pre pupal
and pupal stages takes place on the leaves.
- The immature stages of the white fly are dark in colour with
white pubescence all over the body; several of these are found
sticking on to the lower and upper surface of the leaves.
- The adult fly emerges in about two to three weeks' time.
- The pest is active all the year round but causes the maxi-mum
damage from August to November.
- Avoid growing a ratoon crop in infested fields and burn
all the trash of the harvested crop.
- Spray with O. 16 per cent BHC at 100 to 150 gallons per acre.
Top Shoot Borer
: Scirpophaga nivella Fabr
- The borer causes a serious damage to the cane crop from
the beginning of May up to tile end of September, both in
the early and late stages.
- The borer causes severe damage to canes only
in the early stages in June-July when nodes
have not been formed.
- The damage is characterised by the appearance of a
dried-up central shoot which is greyish-white in colour
and commonly known as dead-heart.
- The damage by the borer actually starts from the mid-rib
of the top leaves into which it bores and makes tiny holes.
- The presence of a series of shot holes is a characteristic
symptom of the presence of this pest.
- The dead-heart is produced when the central shoot tunnelled
by the borer withers away.
- This is followed by the production of side- shoots in bunches
generally known as bunchy tops ill the later stages of cane
- The total loss in the yield of cane caused by this pest is
about 20 per cent.
- The borer has been observed in all the cane-growing
but is severe in the Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa,
Maharashtra, Madras, Mysore, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
- Collect egg
masses and destroy them.
- Cut infested shoots from the top and destroy the caterpillars.
- Spray the crop with 0.32 per cent. DDT or 0.1 per
- For determining the number of sprayings, information on
the broods which cause the maximum damage to the crop and
their time of appearance in the field should be collected.
- The spraying must be synchronized with the egg-laying of these
broods to obtain the maximum control of the pest.
Root Borer : Emmalocera
- The borer
causes severe damage to canes only in the early stages
in June-July when nodes have not been formed.
- The damage is characterised by the appearance of a
dried-up central shoot which is greyish-white in colour
and commonly known as dead-heart.
The Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Mysore, Madras, Maharashtra and Gujarat
- The female moth, which is dirty-brown in colour, lays
eggs singly on the underside of the leaves.
- The egg is small, flat, scale-like and creamy-white in colour.
- The tiny caterpillar on hatching bores into the cane at the
base of the seedling, producing the characteristic 'dead·
- After the node-formation, the cater-pillar enters the root-stock
and lodges itself into a small tunnel which is not visible
- The caterpillar lives at one end of the tunnel while the rest
of the tunnel is full of woody frass.
- The full-grown caterpillar is about 25 mm. long and pale white
in colour. It moves upwards in the shoot almost to the level
of the soil for pupalion to facilitate the emergence of the
- Avoid ratooning in the case of a infested sugarcane crop.
- Dig out and burn the stubbles after the harvest
- Cut the infested shoots and destroy them.
Pyrilla : Pyrilla Purpusilla Walker
- Most destructive
foliage sucking pest in sugarcane.
- Occur in epidemic scale in the sub-tropical states
in cycles of 5-6 years.
- Pyrilla occurs as major pest in Bihar, Delhi, Haryana,
Punjab, M.P and U.P. In the recent years it has been
reported from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Orissa. It
is also on the increase in the peninsular India.
- Adults and nymphs suck leaf sap from the under surface
of the lower leaves minus midrib, resulting in yellowish
- Under heavy infestation leaves turn yellowish white
and wither away.
- The hoppers exude a sweet sticky fluid known as "honey
dew" which promotes quick and luxuriant growth of the
fungus Capnodium sp and as a result the leaves compeltely
coverd by the sooty mould. This affects photosynthesis.
- Due to continuous desapping by large number of hoppers, top
leaves dry up and the lateral buds germinate.
- Easterly wind and high humidity, intermittent drought conditions
during monsoon (July-September) in the sub tropics favours
rapid build up of Pyrilla. Heavy rainfall followed by 75-80%
humidity, high temperature (26-300 C) also favour the pest
- Dense and luxuriant crop, high amount of N and irrigation
lodged canes, water logged conditions, varieties with broad
and succulent leaves favour Pyrilla build up.
- Burning of trash helps in destroying unhatched egg masses
and over-wintering nymphs.
- Removal of sprouts from the stubble in April once, helps in
reducing the pest build up.
- Detrashing August onwards is very helpful.
- During pre-monsoon, dusting HCH 5-10% at 20-30 kg/ha or methyl
parathion (2%) at 12.5 kg/ha using rotary duster. Chloropyriphos
(0.3 kg a.i/ha) and malathion (1.25 kg a.i/ha) can be used
as foliar sprays.
- During Pyrilla epidemics aerial sprayings of the following
insecticide has been employed safely.
1. Methyl demeton (1125 ml/ha),
2. Dimethoate (875 ml/ha),
3. Fenthion (560 ml/ha),
4. Malathion (500 ml/ha),
5. Phosphomidon (250-300 ml/ha)
6. Monocrotophos (1250 ml/ha),
7. Endosulphan (750 ml/ha)
Mite : Oligonychus
- These mites
are red in colour and feed in colonies on the underside
of the leaves.
- Badly damaged leaves turn reddish-brown and dry up
- The mites are active from April to September but do
severe damage to the crop during May and June.
- The mites also attack jowar and bajra crops.
- Bihar, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, the Punjab and Uttar
- White, spherical eggs are laid singly in the web on the
leaves which turn brownish after some time.
- A mite may lay 35 to 69 eggs during her lifetime.
- The eggs hatch in two to four days.
- There are three larval instars and larva, proto and deuto
nymphs take 3 to 16 days to develop into adults.
- The female mite moves briskly on the leaves and spins webs
along the side of the lower midrib.
- Spray with lime sulphur or 0.03 per cent malathion at
60 to 80 gallons per acre.
Pink Mealy Bug (Saccharicoccus sacchari Ckll)
- These are
round covered with white waxy material singly or in
masses near the nodes under the leaf-sheaths.
- The nymphs and adults (female) suck the juice ; the
severely infested plants show a sickly appearance
and drying up of the leaves.
- The damaged cane becomes useless For sowing purposes
due to injure to the eye-buds.
- All over the sugarcane-growing areas of India.
- The female mealy bug is wingless while the male is winged.
- A single mealy bug may deposit as many as 400 eggs.
- The eggs hatch in four to seven days. The nymphs crawl and
find places like the stalk (near the joint) of a leaf-sheath
to feed on and develop
- The life-cycle is completed in about a month.
- Avoid the use of setts from infested fields; Infestation
spreads through the affected setts used for sowing purpose.
- Spray the crop with 0.08 per cent malathion in the initial
stage of the attack so as to check the multiplication of the
pest in the field
Scale insect : Melanaspis
- Occuring in several important cane growing states like
A.P, U.P and Bihar, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana
- Appear on 5-6 month old crop after the formation of a few
internodes. This may coincide with the onset of monsoon.
- In A.P. its build up starts in the 3-4 week of June when the
crop is 5-6 month old/ Heavy infestation of scale insect starts
from June and continues upto December.
- Under field
conditions the symptoms of attack become evident only
whtn there is heavy build up. When the infestation
is heavy, the entire stem is covered by the scale
insect and its encrustation gives greyish black appearance.
- Infested crop looses its vigour, canes shrivel, growth
is stunted and the internodal length is reduced very
much. Ultimately cane dries up.
- Scales usually establish on internodes covered with
leaf sheath. Nodal region is more infested than internodal
- Scale insect crawlers and suck the sap by inserting sytlets
into the parenchymatous tissue.
- Leaves of infested cane show signs of tip drying and unhealthy
pale green colour and with continued infestation turn yellow.
- Desapping leads to non-opening of leaves which also turn yellow
and finally dry out. Such canes when slit open appear brownish
- Scale insect injury attracts fungal infestation.
- If scale infested setts are planted there will be considerable
reduction in germination.
- In the infested canes, length, girth and weight reduction
occurs. Thus yield and quality suffers.
- Loss may range from negligible to total crop failure.
- Loss is more in light soils than heavy soils.
- In general ratoon crops show greater infestation as they are
weaker as compared to plant crops.
- Humidity favours scale insect infestation. Usually high infestation
is observed during July-October when high temperatures and
- Dry conditions pre-dispose the crop to scale insect attack.
Water logging also helps scale insect build up. Rain water
and high velocity winds facilitate dispersal of the pest.
- Scale insect spreads to new areas through seed material. From
the infested plant crops, the pest is carried on to the ratoon
through stubble and trash. Men and animals passing through
the infested fields also lead to spread of the pest to the
- No seed material should be taken from the infested field.
- Ratooning should be avoided in the infested fields.
- Detrashing helps greatly in reducing the scale insect population.
- Trash and other crop residues of the infested crop must be
- Stubble shaering helps in reducing the pest problem in the
- At planting the setts should be immersed in an insecticidal
solution. At 5-6 month age of crop, the crop should be detrashed
and sprayed with insecticide.
- The trash removed should be burnt. Insecticide that have been
recommended are: Malathion(0.1%)m Dimethoate (0.08 to 0.15%)
Phosphomidon (0.05 to 0.08%) and Monocrotophos (1.5kg a.i/ha).
- Spraying should be done at the commencement of the infestation
on the basal internodes after detrashing. The chemical also
be soil applied if spraying is difficult.
- For soil application any of the following chemicals could
Carbofuran : 2 kg a.i/ha 3 times at weekly interval
Dionethoate : 3 kg a.i/ha 5 times at monthly interval
Aldicarb : 2-3 kg a.i/ha
Monocrotophos : 3 kg a.i/ha at monthly intervals.
While ratooning, the cane stubbles may be drenched with malalthion or dimethoate 0.1% solution after stubble shaering
Leaf Hopper (Pyrilla perpusilla)
- The pest occurs in an epidemic form in certain years and
causes a severe loss to the sugarcane crop.
- The damage is caused by the nymphs and adults both of which
suck the sap from the undersurface of the leaves rendering
them pale and withered.
- In case of a heavy incidence, the crop becomes stunted and
consequently the yield and quality of cane are affected.
- The pest has been observed to feed also on wheat, barley,
oats, maize, jowar, bajara paddy and several kinds of grasses
in the absence of sugarcane crop in the field.
- It prefers a succulent broad-leaved variety of sugarcane to
a narrow- leaved variety.
- Fields which have been given plenty of nitrogenous manures
resulting in a luxurious growth of crop, suffer most from
- The pest is found all over India wherever sugarcane is
grown but is serious only in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar
Pradesh, the Punjab, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
Life - History
- The adult appears ill the held by the end of March and
finding favourable weather conditions breeds on the crop up
- The eggs are laid generally in clusters of 20 to 40 eggs on
the undersurface, of the leaves.
- The clusters are covered with whitish fine hairs produced
from the anal pads of the female which lays G00 to S00 eggs
during its life- time.
- The colour of the eggs is light blue and the shape cylin-
- They hatch in seven to tell days. The newly hatched nymph
is milky white in colour and bears two characteristic anal
- The nymph jumps about from leaf to leaf and passes through
five stages of development in a period of 20 to 30 days before
attaining the adult stage.
- The total life-cycle is completed within 30 to 40 days during
- The pest passes the winter in nymphal stage in north India,
Light rain showers in May and June and long dry gaps with
droughty conditions during July and August are very favourable
for its multiplication.
- Dust the crop with 5 per cent BHC at the rate of 15 to
20 pounds per acre, (2) Spray with 0.02 per cent endrin or
at the rate of 0.1 pound (actual) per acre
Integrated Insect Pest and Disease Control Schedule in Seed Crop
|Stage of operation
||Diseases & Insects
of crop for seed
i. Borers, Mealy bug, Scale
ii. Smut, Red rot, Wilt, GSD
more than 20% incidence should not be selected
of seed pieces
Mealy bug, Scale
ii. Red rot & Wilt
insect damage should be rejected
Setts showing infection should be rejected.
||GSD, RSD, Borer,
Larvae and pupae, Mealy bug, Scale, Soil bome pathogen.
Dipping setts in organomercurial fungicide and in
0.15% solution of malathion for 15 minutes.
|4. At planting
Pink, Green & Root borer
of gamma BHC or Heptachlor @ 1.0 kg a.i/ha over setts.
|5. First sixmonths
of crop growth (Feb-June)
Red rot, Borers, Pyrilla, White grubs.
plants, collect egg masses. Dusting with 5% BHC @
20-30 kg/ha after removing two lower most leaves with
egg masses. Collection of beetles at light traps N,
consanguinca or small branches or neem or peepat (H)
seerate). Application of 10% BHC dust @ 100 kg/ha
twoice at one month intervals (starting at one week
after first heavy monsoon showers).
Spray with 0.1% malathion emulsion.
Spraying with 0.1% 0.1% malathion emulsion or 0.3%
|6. After six
i.Gurdaspur borer and Plassey borer
(ii) Top borer
(iii) Stalk borer
(iv)Internode borer and Pink borer
(viii)Red rot Smut and Wilt.
Coolection and destruction of infested clumps.
Reelease of porasile, Isotiuma juvensia Rohw, (only
in tropical area) and application of carbofuran
@ 1.0 kg a.i/ha June-July (north belt).
One spraying with monocrotophos @ 0.75% kg a.i/ha
during August. Removal of dry leaves and lats shoots
once in September and again in October. Followed
by spraying with monocrotophos @ 0.75 kg a.i/ha.
Removed of dry leaves from August to Otober at
During with 5% BHC @ 30-60 kg/ha Spraying with
malathion @ 0.1 kg/ha or serial spraying of malathion
ULV @ 1.25 litre/ha or 0.6% Regor.
Spraying 0.1% malathion on adsali or October planted
crop after stripping dry leaves which should be
Spraying 0.1% malathion or 0.03% dimecron solution
Roguing of affected champs.
Application of Ferbam (3.7 kg/ha) dithane 7.72 (2.5
|7. Before harvest
||As stated above.