HomeCropFrom Infestation To Eradication: The Ultimate Sugarcane White Grub Management Plan 

From Infestation To Eradication: The Ultimate Sugarcane White Grub Management Plan 

Sugarcane white grub is a serious agricultural pest that poses a significant threat to the productivity and sustainability of sugarcane crops worldwide. This grub feeds on the roots of sugarcane plants, causing significant damage that can result in reduced yields and even complete crop failure. It can cause 100% reduction in cane yield and 5-6% in sugar recovery if not properly managed. This article will explore the symptoms of sugarcane white grub infestation and various control measures that can be adopted to minimize its damage. 

They are dirty white coloured ‘C’ shaped larvae with brown head. It can be found all year around, but their activity is typically only visible during the rainy season. Light soils rich in organic matter and high temperature create a favorable condition for sugarcane white grubs.   

Type of Infestation

White grubs cause extensive damage to roots, leading to lodging of sugarcane. 

Scientific Name: Holotrichia consanguinea, Holotrichia serrata  

Most Affected States

Sugarcane white grubs are found in many parts of India. H. consanguinea is pre-dominant in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh whereas, H. serrata is most destructive in states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. 

Symptoms of Sugarcane White Grub

  • Initially yellowing and wilting of leaves can be seen. 
  • Affected canes come off easily when pulled. 
  • Grub feed on the roots and cause extensive damage to the roots and base of the shoots. 
  • Drying of the entire crown occurs due to their feeding activity. 
  • In case of severe infestation, the affected canes may lodge in the field. 
  • Grubs may also be found tunneling into the cane stalks. 

Control Measures

A comprehensive strategy, encompassing cultural, physical, mechanical, biological and chemical methods can be implemented to effectively manage sugarcane white grubs. 

Cultural Measures

  • Grow resistant sugarcane cultivars like Co 6304, C0 1158 and Co 5510. 
  • Deep summer ploughing of fields exposes pupae of white grubs, which are located in the soil, to birds and high temperatures. 
  • Avoid ratoon crops in infested sugarcane. 
  • Practice crop rotation with non-host crops like sunflower. 
  • Grow trap crops like groundnut, castor and sun hemp in sugarcane fields to trap white grubs.  
  • Provide adequate irrigation and balanced amount of fertilizers. 

Physical Measures

  • Set up Light Trap to capture adult white grubs and kill them in kerosene oil water. 

Mechanical Measures

  • Handpicking and destroying grubs and adult beetles help in reducing sugarcane white grub population.  
  • Tapas White Grub Lure can be used to attract and trap white grubs. Install Tapas Bucket Trap with White Grub lure at a rate of 4 to 5 per acre for effective trapping. 

Biological Measures

  • Anand Dr. Bacto’s Brave is an eco-friendly bio insecticide containing Beauveria bassiana which acts on the cuticle of white grubs and kills them by producing toxins. The recommended dosage is 2.5ml per liter of water. 
  • Bio Metaz Biopesticide contains an entomo-pathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, which comes in contact with the body of insect host and kills them. In order to get better results, mix 10ml of bio metaz biopesticide with 1 liter of water and spray them during evening hours. 
  • Biofix Biofighter is a novel bio control agent, containing naturally occurring soil microorganisms. To effectively control white grubs, drench 5g of biofix biofighter in 1 liter of water per acre. 
  • Anshul EPN Army Nematicide comprises of Heterorhabditis indica, an entomopathogenic pathogen which eradicates white grubs by making contact with them. For an acre, apply 1-2 kg of army nematicide for better results. 

Chemical Measures

In case of severe infestations, chemical measures can be taken using commercial insecticides. The following are some of the commercial chemicals that are commonly used to control white grubs in sugarcane, 

Product Name  Technical Content  Dosage 
Soil Application 
Lesenta Insecticide  Imidacloprid 40% + Fipronil 40% WG  100 gm/acre  
Furadan 3G Insecticide  Carbofuran 3% CG  13 kg/acre 
Foliar Spray 
Nanobee Agrokill Insecticide  Nano Colloidal Micelles 100% (Fatty Acid based Plant Extracts)  3 ml/lit water 
Bacf End Task Insecticide  Fipronil 40% + Imidacloprid 40% WG  0.5 gm/lit of water 


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