HomeCropSugarcane Internode Borer: Infestation And Its Management 

Sugarcane Internode Borer: Infestation And Its Management 

Sugarcane is an important cash crop in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. However, the sugarcane internode borer is a significant pest that causes substantial economic losses to sugarcane farmers. The larvae of the sugarcane internode borer feed on the inner tissues of sugarcane stalks, leading to yield losses ranging from 20% in moderate infestation to 50% in severe infestation. In this article, we provide an overview of the sugarcane internode borer and explore various control strategies to help farmers minimize its damage. 

They are whitish larva with brown heads, which can be identified by the longitudinal stripes and dark spots on the dorsal side of the body. Waterlogged conditions around the shoot canes favor the buildup of sugarcane internode borer. Low temperature and high humidity also favor the outbreak of internode borers. 

Type of Infestation

The larvae of the sugarcane internode borer tunnel through the stem and feed on the cane horizontally causing damage to the cane by breaking them.  

Scientific Name: Chilo sacchariphagus indicus

Most Affected States Due to Sugarcane Internode Borer

Sugarcane internode borer is serious pest of sugarcane in many parts of India. But it is more severe in the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.  

Sugarcane Internode Borer Symptoms

  • Initially larvae feed on the young rolled leaves and cause shot hole in leaves. 
  • They also produce dead heart symptoms during the early stages of plant growth. 
  • The infested nodal region shows evidence of internodes being constricted and shortened, with multiple bore holes. 
  • Fresh excreta can be seen in the nodal region. 
  • Affected tissues turn red. 
  • When the infestation is severe, the plant stalks become weaker, leading to significant reduction in their growth. 

Control Measures

To manage the internode borer in sugarcane, it is often necessary to use a combination of various control measures. Here are some commonly utilized Integrated Pest Management practices to control internode borers. 

Sugarcane Internode Borer Cultural Measures

  • Choose setts that are free from pests for planting. 
  • Grow resistant varieties like CO 975, COJ 46 and CO 7304. 
  • Remove and destroy the weeds in and around the cane fields to reduce the internode borer population. 
  • Avoid using excessive doses of nitrogenous fertilizers. 
  • Detrash the canes and burn the trash to eliminate the larvae and pupae attached with the leaf-sheaths. 

Sugarcane Internode Borer Mechanical Measures 

  • Collect and destroy the eggs periodically. 
  • Set up pheromone traps at the rate of 4-5 traps per acre and change them once in 45 days to effectively trap internode borers. 

Biological Measures

  • Encourage bio control agents like egg parasitoid such as Trichogramma chilonis and larval parasitoids such as Stenobracon deesae, Apanteles flavipes to parasitize internode borer. 
  • Also release pupal parasitoids to control internode borers. 
  • Anand Dr. Bacto’s Brave is an eco-friendly bio insecticide containing Beauveria bassiana which acts on the cuticle of susceptible insects and kills them by producing toxins. The recommended dosage is 2.5 ml per liter of water. 

Sugarcane Internode Borer Chemical Measures

In cases where cultural, mechanical and biological control strategies are not sufficient to control sugarcane internode borer, adoption of chemical method of control may be necessary. Chemicals that can be used to control internode borer includes, 

  • Tafgor Insecticide is highly effective in controlling sugarcane internode borers. It belongs to the organophosphate group containing Dimethoate 30% EC. The recommended dosage is 1.5-2.5 ml per liter of water. 
  • Police Insecticide also helps to control internode borers in sugarcane. Its technical content is Fipronil 40% + Imidacloprid 40% WG. The recommended dosage is 0.2-0.6 gm per liter of water. 
  • Apply Furadan Insecticide, which contains carbofuran 3G granules on the soil at the rate of 12 kg per acre in case of severe infestation. 

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