Major Insect Pest Of Maize & Sorghum


Major Insect Pest Of Maize :

1.Maize/ Sorghum stem borer: Chilo partellus

 F:Pyralidae O:Lepidoptera.

  • Most destructive pest of maize/sorghum.
  • Caterpillars infect the crop usually one month after sowing.
  • It cause pin holes on leaves or”dead hearts” in stem.
  • The infestation may be noticed till harvesting.
  • Larvae remains hibernate in maize stubbles.


  • Destroy stubbles, weeds & alternate hosts.
  • Application of Phorate 10 G @ 20 kg/ha or Carbofuran 3G @ 25 kg/ha.
  • Release of Cotesia (Apanteles) spp


Other pests of maize:

1. Maize aphid: Rhapalosiphum maydis

 F:Aphididae  O:Hemiptera

2. European corn borer: Ostrinia nubilalis

F:Pyralidae  O: Lepidoptera.

  • (It doesn’t occur in India).

 3.Asian maize borer: O. furnacalis

  • present in some part of India.

4.Pink borer: Sesamia inferens

F:Noctuidae O: Lepidoptera.

  • It mainly feeds on maize, rice and wheat
  • It cause ‘dead heart’ on central shoot in wheat (IARI, Ph.D-04)


Major Insect Pest Of Maize Sorghum:

1.Sorghum shoot fly: Atherigona soccata

 F:Muscidae O: Diptera.

  • The insect attacks the young crop when it is in the six leaves stage
  • six weeks after planting the crop is seldom attacked.
  • Maggots feed on the main shoot and growing point is destroyed which is easily plucked out.
  • The young plants show typical ‘dead hearts’ symptoms(NET 2013)
  • Cloudy weather favorable the multiplication of this insect.
  • It is believed that infestation is also higher in irrigated fields.


  • ” Early sowing, just after the onset of monsoon. (ARS-06)
  • Use of higher seed rate (NET -2012/13)
  • Use of fish meal trap (NET -2012)
  • Removed infested plants.
  • Application of Phorate 10 G or Carbofuran 3 G @ 2.5 kg a.i. /ha at the time of sowing. (NET 13)
  • Foliar application of Cartap hydrochloride a week after emergence of crop.


Other pests of sorghum:

1.  Sorghum midge:Contarinia sorghicola

F: Cecidomyiidae O: Diptera.

2. Sorghum ear head bug: Calocoris angustatus

 F:Miridae O: Hemiptera.

  • (it laid cigar shaped eggs on sorghum leaves) JRF-06

c.Red spider mite: Oligonichus indicus

F:Tetranchydae  O:Acarina (JRF, Ph. D Ento-05)


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