HomeCropBattle Of The Bugs: A Guide For Managing Sorghum Ear Head Bug 

Battle Of The Bugs: A Guide For Managing Sorghum Ear Head Bug 

Sorghum ear head bug is a serious pest that attacks sorghum crops worldwide. They feed on the reproductive structures of sorghum plants, including the developing grains. The feeding activity of the bugs can cause significant damage to the crop, resulting in reduced yields and quality. In severe infestations, the impact can completely destroy the developing grains, leading to significant losses for farmers.   

Type of Infestation

Sorghum ear head bug infests the sorghum plant by sucking the sap from the grains, leading to damage of seed coat, kernel and embryo. This results in a reduction in grain weight, quality and yield.  

Scientific Name: Calocoris angustatus 

Most Affected States

Sorghum Ear Head Bug is a major pest of sorghum crops in India. The pest is found in almost all the sorghum-growing states, but the major affected states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.  

Symptoms of Sorghum Ear Head Bug

The sorghum ear head bug causes significant damage to sorghum crops and its infestation can be identified by several symptoms. The most common symptoms of Sorghum ear head bug infestation are:  

  • During the milky stage, both nymphs and adult bugs suck the juice from grains. 
  • As a result of sucking, shrinkage and black color discoloration of grains can be seen. 
  • Infested grains become ill filled or chaffy. 
  • Older grains will display noticeable feeding punctures that can lower their overall quality. 

Control Measures

To effectively control sorghum ear head bug, follow the below mentioned integrated management measures including cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical methods. 

Cultural Measures

  • Plant resistant sorghum varieties like IS 1760, IS 17645, BBR-1 (ICS V239), CSM 388, Chencholam. 
  • Following crop rotation with non-host crops reduces the ear head bugs population. 
  • Early planting decreases the likelihood of the flowering period coinciding with the peak activity of ear head bugs.  
  • Proper nutrition management, including balanced fertilization and irrigation can also help to reduce the susceptibility of sorghum plants to ear head bugs attacks. 

Physical Measures

  • Installing Solar Light Traps in sorghum fields helps in trapping the earhead bugs. For effective trapping install one light trap per acre. 

Mechanical Measures

  • Collect and destroy the heavily infested plants. 
  • Tapas Yellow Sticky Trap can be used effectively to trap and kill the sorghum earhead bugs. For an acre install 4 to 6 traps to control earhead bugs population. 

Biological Measures

  • Encourage natural predators like spiders, coccinellid beetles and dragonflies to prey on the earhead bugs. 
  • Greenpeace Neemol Bio Neem Oil Insecticide contains neem-based products azadirachtin which when used at the rate of 1-2ml per liter of water with 15days interval between each spray can effectively control ear head bugs in sorghum fields. 

Chemical Measures

Commercial chemicals used for controlling sorghum ear head bugs are mentioned below, 

Product Name  Technical Content  Dosage 
Actara Insecticide  Thiamethoxam 25 % WG  0.5 gm/lit of water 
Ekalux Insecticide  Quinalphos 25% EC  2 ml/lit of water 
Anshul Chlocip Insecticide  Chlorpyriphos 50% + Cypermethrin 5% EC  2 ml/lit of water 
Karate Insecticide  Lambdacyhalothrin 5% EC  1.5 ml/lit of water 


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