HomeCropManaging Sorghum Shoot Bugs: A Comprehensive Guide to Crop Protection 

Managing Sorghum Shoot Bugs: A Comprehensive Guide to Crop Protection 

Sorghum is a major crop in many parts of the world, which is grown for food and fodder purposes. However, like all crops, sorghum is susceptible to damage from a range of pests, including the sorghum shoot bug. Although sorghum shoot bug is a sporadic pest, under favorable conditions it can produce several generations and cause significant damage to sorghum crops. The warm and humid climate favors the growth and development of sorghum shoot bugs.  

The adult sorghum shoot bug can be identified by its yellowish brown to dark brown color with translucent wings. The female shoot bug lays group of eggs inside the sorghum leaf tissue that are covered with white waxy substance causing damage to plants. 

Type of Infestation

Sorghum shoot bugs are a type of sap feeder, which feeds on the sap of the sorghum plants.  

Scientific Name: Peregrinus maidis 

Most Affected States

The sorghum shoot bug is a major pest of sorghum in many states in India, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Madhya Pradesh.  

Symptoms of Sorghum Shoot Bug

  • Both nymphs and adults of sorghum shoot bug suck the sap from plants. 
  • The leaves of the infected plants dry out starting from the top and gradually wither downwards. 
  • The infested leaves may also have sooty mould growth, which is a result of the honeydew excreted by shoot bugs. 
  • The affected plants exhibit stunted growth and become unhealthy, causing them to turn yellow. 
  • The egg laying activity of sorghum shoot bugs can cause the midrib of the leaves to turn red, which may eventually dry up. 
  • In case of severe infestation, plant growth may twist the leaves and inhibit panicle emergence. 

Control Measures

Sorghum shoot bugs can be controlled by practicing Integrated Pest Management methods which includes cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical measures. 

Cultural Measures  

  • Crop rotation can be done to reduce the pest populations. 
  • Remove weeds and other plant debris from the sorghum field. 
  • Proper fertilization and irrigation practices can help ensure that the crop is healthy and can better withstand insect attacks. 

Biological Measures

  • Release natural predators such as Coccinella septumpunctatum, Menochilus sexmaculatus, Geocoris tricolor and egg parasitoids like Paranagrus optabilis, Octetrastichus indicus to control sorghum shoot bugs. 
  • Greenpeace Neemol Bio Neem Oil Insecticide contains neem-based products azadirachtin which when used at the rate of 1-2 ml per liter of water with 15days interval between each spray can effectively control shoot bugs in sorghum fields. 
  • Amruth Alestra Liquid (Bio Insecticide) contains strains of naturally occurring entomopathogenic fungus Verticillium lecanii which comes in contact with the cuticle of the shoot bugs and colonizes them. The recommended dosage is 2ml per liter of water. 

Mechanical Measures

  • Collect and destroy the infected plant parts. 
  • Tapas Yellow Sticky Traps can be placed around the edges of field to capture adult sorghum shoot bugs. For an acre place 4-6 yellow sticky traps for effective trapping. 

Chemical Measures

Commercial chemicals for controlling sorghum shoot bug includes, 

Product Name  Technical Content  Dosage 
Tafgor Insecticide  Dimethoate 30%EC  2.5 ml/lit of water 
Asataf Insecticide  Acephate 75% SP  1.5 gm/lit of water 
Ekalux Insecticide  Quinalphos 25 % EC  2 ml/lit of water 


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