Sugarcane scale insect is a notorious pest that attacks sugarcane plants, causing significant economic losses to farmers and sugarcane industry. These small insects feed on the sap of sugarcane plants and their infestations can weaken and stunt the growth of plants, reducing yields and affecting the quality of final product. Estimates suggest that sugarcane scale insect can cause 32.6% reduction in cane yield if not managed properly. This article will explore the symptoms of scale insects and various control measures to manage them.
Type of Infestation
Sugarcane scale insect is a sap sucking pest which feeds on sap of sugarcane plants. The pest is known to infest leaves, nodes and internodes of sugarcane plants and cause significant damage if left uncontrolled.
Scientific Name: Melanaspis glomerata
Most Affected States
Sugarcane scale insect is most commonly found in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
Symptoms of Sugarcane Scale
- The leaves of the infested canes show unhealthy pale green color and tip drying.
- Severe infestation leads to yellowing of leaves.
- Non opening of leaves occurs due to severe de-sapping.
- An infested crop loses its vigour, experiences cane shriveling, stunted growth and significant reduction in internodal region.
- Finally, the cane dries up and when such canes are slit open, they have a brownish-red appearance.
- In severely affected canes, thick brown encrustations can be observed on both nodal and internodal regions.
Effective management of sugarcane scale insect requires a combination of cultural, biological and chemical control measures.
- Grow resistant sugarcane varieties like CO 443, CO 453, CO 671, CO 691 and CO 692.
- Choose setts for planting that are free from scale insects.
- Keep the sugarcane fields free from weeds.
- Avoid water stagnation in field for longer period.
- Detrash the sugarcane crop on the 150th and 210th day of planting.
- Avoid repeated ratoons to reduce the sugarcane scale infestation.
- Encourage predators like Chilocorus nigritus or Pharascymnus horni to control the population of sugarcane scale insects.
- Also release parasitoids such as Anagyrus mayurensis, Cheiloneurus sp., and predatory mites like Sancassania nuda and Tyrophagus putrescentiae to feed on scale insects.
- Greenpeace Neemol Bio Neem Oil Insecticide contains azadirachtin which when used at the rate of 1-2ml per liter of water with 15 days interval between each spray can effectively control sugarcane scale insects.
- Anshul Bio Finish is a broad-spectrum biopesticide containing natural plant extracts which can be sprayed to sugarcane crops for controlling scale insects. The recommended dosage is 3-5ml per liter of water. Spray the mixture at a regular interval of 10-12 days for better results.
Sugarcane scales can be controlled using commercial insecticides. Some of the most commonly used insecticides for controlling sugarcane scales includes,
|Dimethoate 30% EC
|1 ml/lit of water
|Tolfenpyrad 15% EC
|1.5 ml/lit of water
|Acetamiprid 20% SP
|0.5 gm/lit of water
|Imidacloprid 17.8% SL
|1ml/lit of water