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Scale insect in sugarcane

 Scale Insect:

Causal organism: Melanaspis glomerata

  • Waterlogging, high temperature and humidity favour build-up of scale insect population.
  • Rainwater and high wind velocity facilitate dispersal of the pest.
  • It spreads to new areas through seed material.
  • Men and animals passing through the infested fields also lead to spread of the pest to the adjoining areas.
  • The yield loss could range from negligible to total crop failure.

Symptoms

  • Scales usually establish on internodes covered with leaf sheath.
  • The leaves of infested canes show signs of tip drying and unhealthy pale green colour and with continued infestation these turn yellow.
  • Desapping leads to non-opening of leaves also, which also turn yellow and finally dry up.
  • Nodal region is more infested than internodal region.
  • Infested crop losses its vigour, canes shrivel, growth is stunted and the internodal length is reduced drastically.
  • Ultimately cane dries up. Such canes when slit open appear brownish red
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