The Maize Shoot Bug, Peregrinus maidis, belonging to the Family Delphacidae of the Order Hemiptera, is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world. This bug feeds on the developing shoots of maize plants and can reduce the yield and quality of the crop. This pest is also known to harbor several other maize pests, including the maize weevil and the maize earworm.
The bug’s feeding activity destroys the plant’s developing shoots and can lead to stunted growth of the maize plant. Additionally, the bug is known to carry several pathogens, which can cause further damage to the maize crop. 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 Shoot Bug Pest in Maize crops, including its symptoms, identification techniques, and control.
Maize Shoot Bug Pest Management
Life Cycle of Maize Shoot Bug Pest in Maize Crop
Egg: The female adult lays eggs on the newly developing maize shoots and stems. The larvae hatch out of the eggs after a few days and feed on the maize shoots and stems.
Nymph: The nymphs feed on the plant material, causing damage to the maize shoots and stems. As they grow, they molt several times and become larger. After reaching their final size, they develop wings and become adults.
Adult: They feed on the maize shoots and stems and lay eggs. They can cause extensive damage to the maize crops and be difficult to control.
Egg-laying Adult: The egg-laying adults lay their eggs on the maize shoots and stem, where they hatch, and the larvae start feeding on the plant material. This cycle continues until the adult dies or the larvae are killed. The maize shoot bug lifecycle usually takes 30 to 35 days to complete.
Occurrence of Maize Shoot Bug Pest in Maize Crop
- Location of maize shoot bug pest: This pest is found to infest maize crops in India, Mexico, the United States, and parts of Africa. In India, the pest infests the crops in the states, especially Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh
- Host range: The pest primarily infests maize crops, but it can also feed on other cereals such as wheat, sorghum, barley, rice, millets, and oats.
Factors Favoring the Population Increase of Maize Shoot Bug Pest in Maize Crop
- High nutrient content – The shoot bugs are attracted to maize crops due to their high nutrient content. Maize crops are high in carbohydrates, proteins, and other essential nutrients, providing an ideal environment for the pest to feed and reproduce.
- Poor management practices – Poor crop rotation, inadequate weed control, inadequate tillage, and inadequate pest control can create a favorable environment for the pest to thrive.
- Climate – A warm and humid climate with abundant moisture helps the pest survive and reproduce. This pest is more active in warmer temperatures of around 27-32°C.
- Crop residues – The maize shoot bug often finds shelter in crop residues, such as stalks and husks, left behind in the field after harvesting. This provides them with a secure place to survive and reproduce.