Insect-pests of Hybrid Maize and Management of Pink Stem Borer

Attcak of pink stem borer in maize crop
Pink Stem Borer Thesis Maize Crop

Pink Stem Borer (Sesamia inferens Walker) is the less to more destructive insect in Maize crop.

This article is based on the research work done by Dr. Yogesh Sidar ( One of our author) at College of Agriculture, Raipur, C.G., India on maize crop during 2014-15.

The research work suggests high incidence in C.G. and some parts of India . Insect-pests Management in Maize is very important in early crop stage.

Introduction: Insect-pests of Maize and Pink Stem Borer

Maize is attacked by several insect-pests. The list of the insect in maize crop is as fallow:

  • Pink stem borerSesamia inferens.
  • Stem borerChilo partellus.
  • Corn wormHelicoverma armigera.
  • Leaf hopperPyrilla perpusill.
  • Ear head bug Calocoris angustatus.

About Maize: General Information

  • Common name: Maize, Makka (मक्का, in Hindi).
  • Scientific name: Zea mays.
  • Family: Poaceae (Gremineae)
  • Origin: Mexico

Maize is one of the most important cereal crop in the world. It is a coarse grained cereal. It requires slightly high temperature and develops well in upland area with proper drainage.

This valuable crop is cultivated worldwide. USA, India, Argentina are the major maize growing country in the world.

According to wikipedia maize is a staple food in different parts of the world, and its production is more than rice and wheat, the two most important food crops in the world. Both genetically modified and hybrid maize are responsible for high production of this crop.

Genetically, modified maize covers more area in USA. Cultivation and production of hybrid maize is more popular in India. Major maize growing states in India are, Maharashtra, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, W. Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Maize plays important role in different sectors, related with agriculture. More than 55 percent of produced maize is used for food, 14 percent in live stock, 18 percent in poultry, 12 percent in starch industries and only 1 percent as seed (Rathore, 2001, Ref. 1).

About Pink Stem Borer: General Information

  • Common name: Pink stem borer, Tana Chhedak (तना छेदक, in Hindi).
  • Scientific name: Sesamia inferens.
  • Order: Lepidoptera.
  • Family: Noctuidae.
Larvae of Pink Stem Borer

Pink stem borer is a polyphagous and most destructive insect of maize crop. Damage is done by larvae. It is a major insect-pest of India and other countries of the world where maize is grown.

Pink stem borer is also a very serious pest of other field crops such as rice, sugarcane, wheat and sorghum etc. The adults are nocturnal in nature and lay eggs on leaves. The infected plant shows symptoms of deadheart.

Cultural Practice, and Management of Pink Stem Borer and other insect-pests

Varieties of Maize

  • Hybrid varieties: NK-30 (used in research work).
  • Ganga series– 2, 4, 5.
  • Co-6.


Maize can be grown in all season if water is available for irrigation. The average temperature ranges from 28-32 degree celsius. Average humidity is 55-60 percent. Although it can grow well also in high humidity of 80-90 percent during rainy season with proper drainage facility.

Preparation of Site and Seed Sowing

The best soil for maize is sandy loam or loam. Ploughing should be done 2-3 time. Soil should be mixed with 10-12 ton of FYM. NPK should be applied at the ratio of 60:40:30 kg/ha. Half dose of ‘N’ and full dose of ‘P’ and ‘K’ is given at the time of sowing.

Seeds are shown at 60 cm × 20 cm, i.e. the distance between row to row is kept 60 cm and the distance between plant to plant is kept 20 cm. Other spacing is 45 cm × 20 cm. Seed rate is 20 kg/ha.


Regular observation and monitoring is done for the proper crop and insect-pests management

Observation for Crop Growth

First the date of seed germination is noted. Observation of plant growth can be fixed at a regular interval. It can be of one week, interval of a fortnight or a month. Generally observation is taken after a week.

Observations of other physical parameters such as number of leaves and corn, corn seeds are taken later stage of the plant. Unhealthy appearance of a plant is the indicator of pest attack.

Also Read: Cultivation practice of African marigold.

Observation for Insect

Certain number of insect in a plant decides the threshold level of that particular pest in host plant. Pink stem borer is a nocturnal pest. Light trap is a simple and useful method to observe the activity of this pest in the standing crop of maize. The larvae attack on every part of plant except root. Larvae can be seen feeding on corn and inside the stem.

The action of control measures should taken immediately when the insect reaches its threshold level.

Control Measures

Pink stem borer and the other insect-pests of maize can be controlled using different methods. These methods are as follows:

  • Biological.
  • Physical and,
  • Chemical.

Biological Control of Pink Stem Borer

Natural Enemy of Maize Insect e.g., aphid.

Pink stem borer is biologically controlled by using Biological agents such as braconid and eulophid.

Physical Control of Pink Stem Borer

  • Adopt Crop rotation.
  • Plough the soil well and expose it to direct sun rays.
  • Burn crop residue.

Chemical Control of Pink Stem Borer

  • Carbofuron 3G: 1000g a.i./ha.
  • Flubendamide 20WG: 25g a.i./ha.

Go for Full Length Thesis

Last Updated: 30-04-2021.


  • Rathore, M.D. (2001). Ecology of Common Insect-pests of Rice. Annu. Rev. Entomology, 13: 257-294.
  • Wikipedia/maize.

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