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Pests of Sugarcane :: Major Pests :: Early Shoot Borer


1. Early shoot borer: Chilo infuscatellus (Crambidae: Lepidoptera)
Distribution and status: India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thiawan, Philippines, Korea, Afghanistan and Burma.
Host range: Pearl millet, oat, barley and maize
Damage symptoms

Dead heart in 1-3 month old crop, which can be easily pulled out, rotten portion of the straw coloured dead-heart emits an offensive odour. A number of bore holes at the base of the shoot just above the ground level can be seen.  It is major pest in the early stage of the crop.

ETL: 15 % deadheart
Larva: dirty white with five dark violet longitudinal stripes and dark brown head.
Adult: Pale greyish brown moth with black dots near the costal margin of the forewings and with white hind wings.


    • Apply management practice if population excess ETL of 15% dead heart
    • Grow resistant varieties: CO 312, CO 421, CO 661, CO 917 and CO 853.
    • Planting in December – January escapes the incidence
    • Intercrop with Sesbania sp.(Daincha) for reduced shoot borer incidence
    • Trash mulching : 10 – 15 cm thickness on 3rd day after planting
    • Earthing up – 30th day
    • Ensure adequate moisture
    • Remove and destroy dead hearts
    • Apply Granulosis virus (GV) @ 1.1 x 105 granules twice on 35 and 50 DAP.
    •  Release tachinid parasitoid: Sturmiopsis inferens @ 125 gravid females.
    • Apply carbofuran 3G @ 33 kg or fipronil 0.3 G 25.0-33.0 kg / ha in the soil before the cane setts are covered.
    • Apply cartap hydrochloride 4G or fipronil 0.3 G at 25 kg /ha by mixing in 50 kg soil and sprinkle along the rows at 45 days after planting followed by earthing up.
    • Spray monocrotophos 36 SL 1000 ml or endosulfan 35 EC 1000 ml or chlorpyriphos 20 EC 1000 ml or chlorantraniprole 18.5 SC 375 ml or  fipronil 5 SC 1.5-2.0 L or  /ha