The Maize Pink Stem Borer, Sesamia inferens, belonging to the Family Noctuidae of the Order Lepidoptera, is a highly destructive moth that feeds on the stem and leaves of the maize crop, causing extensive damage and yield losses to maize crops. It infests the stem of the maize plant, leading to wilting, tasseling, and, eventually, death of the plant. The Maize Pink Stem Borer is also known to cause secondary damage to other crops such as sorghum, millet, rice, cotton, sugar cane, and other weeds.
Control measures against the Maize Pink Stem Borer include crop rotation, chemical control, and host plant resistance. To effectively manage this pest, it is important to understand its life cycle, its preferred habitats, and the best methods for controlling it. This article will provide an overview and discussion of the Maize Pink Stem Borer Pest in Maize crops, including its symptoms, identification techniques, and control.
Maize Pink Stem Borer Pest Management
Life Cycle of Maize Pink Stem Borer Pest in Maize Crop
The life cycle of the maize pink stem borer consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The first stage is the egg stage. The female moths lays their eggs on the stems and leaves of the maize plants. They hatch within 4-7 days, depending on the temperature. The next stage is the larval stage. The larvae feed on the stem and leaves of the maize plants. They are pinkish and have blackheads. They feed for around three weeks before moving on to the pupal stage.
The third stage is the pupal stage. The larvae form pupae, which are brown and cylindrical. They remain in this form for 7-10 days before emerging as adult moths. The final stage is the adult stage. They feed on the foliage and stems of the maize plants before laying eggs to begin the cycle again. There are around 5-6 generations per season. The Maize Pink Stem Borer pest cycle in Maize crops takes one to two months. The pest can cause significant damage to the crop if not controlled through pest management practices.
Occurrence of Maize Pink Stem Borer Pest in Maize Crop
- Location of maize pink stem borer pest: It is native to the Mediterranean region and is found in India, Malaysia, Taiwan, Burma, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Korea, Japan, and Indonesia.
- Host range: The maize pink stem borer pest can infect different crops, including maize, barley, oats, rye, sorghum, rice, wheat, sugarcane, bajra, ragi, and guinea grass.
Factors Favoring the Population Increase of Maize Pink Stem Borer Pest in Maize Crop
- Monoculture – When maize is grown in a monoculture, the pest has a more consistent food source. It is less likely to be disturbed by other organisms making it easier for the pest to establish itself and reproduce in the same area.
- Climate – The suitable climate for the growth and development of MPSB is warm and humid. The warm temperatures provide ideal conditions for the larvae to feed and develop.
- Cultivation practices – Poor cultivation practices, such as late planting and inadequate crop rotation, can favor the population increase.
- Pesticide resistance – The use of certain pesticides can result in the development of pesticide resistance in the maize pink stem borer, making it more difficult to control.