Early shoot borer

Early shoot borer: Chilo infuscatellus snellen


  • Dead heart shows in 1-3 months old crop, which can be easily pulled out.
  • Caterpillar bores into the central shoot and feeds on the internal tissue cause Dead heart.
  • A rotten portion of the straw coloured shoot emits an offensive odour.
  • A number of boreholes at the base of the shoot just above the ground level.

Identification of pest:

  • Egg: Flat – scale-like eggs are laid in 3-5 rows on the lower surface of leaves in masses of 4-100. The masses are slightly overlapping like tiles.
  • Larva: Larva is dirty white with five dark violet longitudinal stripes and dark brown head.
  • Pupa: Pupation takes within the tunnel. Caterpillar before pupating makes a large exit hole in the stem and blocks the opening with silken discs.
  • Adult: Pale greyish brown moth with black dots near the coastal margin of the forewings and with white hind wings.


ETL: 15% dead heart.

Cultural method:

  • Use resistant varieties like CO 312, CO 421, CO 661, CO 917 and CO 853
  • Early planting during December – January escapes the early shoot borer incidence.
  • Sugarcane intercropped with Daincha recorded the lowest early shoot borer incidence.
  • Trash mulching along the ridges to a thickness of 10-15 cm 3 days after planting.
  • Ensure adequate moisture to bring down the soil temperature and increase humidity (unfavourable condition for the multiplication of early shoot borer).
  • Partial earthing up on 45 days after planting reduces the incidence.

Physical method:

  • Remove and destroy dead hearts.
  • Install pheromone traps @ 10Nos. /ha for surveillance and monitoring, change the septa/lure once in 30 days.

Biological method:

  • Apply granulosis virus 1.5 x 13 5 IBS / ha (750 diseased larvae/ha)along with teepol twice on 35 and 50 DAP.
  • Release 125 gravid females of Sturmiopsis inferens a tachinid parasite per ac.

Chemical method:

  • Apply any one of the following insecticides if the pest crosses ETL.
  • Carboryl +Sevidol 4% G 12.5 kg, Carbofuran 3G 33 kg (Soil application). The granular application should be immediately followed by irrigation.
  • Chlorpyriphos 1000 ml a sticker like Teepol (250 ml / 500 l of water) can also be added to make the solution stick onto the surface of the crop and it is preferable to use high volume sprayer to be most effective.




  • TamilNadu Agritech Portal


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