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Biological Control of insect-pest in sugarcane

Biological Control of insect-pest in sugarcane

            Natural enemies are used such as predators, parasites and pathogenic micro-organisms for controlling pest populations or diseases. Some interesting examples of different group of natural enemies are:


  • Diatraeophaga striatalis, Parathereria claripalpis, Lixophaga diatrea, Sturmiopsis parasitca         
  • Augmentations of Sturmiopsis inferens (An indigenous dipterous parasite) to manage shoot borer population in Tamil Nadu.
  • Isotima javansis
  • Inundative release of Trichogramma chilonis @ 50,000/ha has shown its effectiveness against internode borer, root borer, and to some extent top borer.
  • Field release of Indonesian strain of Cotesia flavipes @ 2000 mated females per ha in four splitted doses at weekly intervals from July to November brings about significant reduction in stalk and internode borer infestation.
  • Epiricania melanoleuca play an important role in the suppression of Pyrilla population in sub-tropical India.

Insect Pathogens (Effective under high humidity and low temperature conditions)

  • Metarrhizium anisopliae- (Effective against Pyrilla and white grub).
  • Beauveria bassiana  (White muscaradine fungus) effective against stalk borer and black bug.
  • Fusarium subglutinans- effective against scale insect.
  • Bacillus thuringiensis- shoot borer, Gurdaspur borer and white grub (H. serrata).
  • B. popillae- effective against white grubs. (H. cansanguinea and H. serrata)


  • Four sprays of Granulosis virus (GV) of shoot borer @ 109 granules per mm after 40, 55, 70 and 85 days of planting gives good control of shoot borer.
  • Release of Trichogramma chilonis for controlling root and shoot borers of Sugarcane.
  • Release of Epiricania melanoleuca for control of Pyrilla.

This indigenous parasitoid is very effective in controlling heavy pyrilla infestation. For this purpose, its unemerged cocoons are required to be collected and stapled to the underside of leaves @ 1000 cocoons/ha. Twenty five cocoons are stapled at each spot. This is effective in controlling the pest within three weeks and establishing the parasite in endemic pockets.The weather based forewarning models for Pyrilla and Early shoot borer have been developed.

Resistant varieties                                                       

            “With respect to plants, all properties enabling them to fight and overcome partially or completely, the pathogenic effects of a disease or pest attack”. This also includes tolerance- the ability of a plant to grow and develop inspite of pest or disease attack with respect to pests and disease.”

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