Press.Bulletin No. 45.
DEPARTM ENT OF
THE 5UGAR CANE BORER.
[H. A. GOSsAnD.]
This insect is destructive to sugar cane in the West
Indies, in Louisiana and most regions where sugar has
been extensively produced for any length of time. It al-
so feeds upon Indian corn, SORGHUIM VIULGARE, Johnlson
grass, SORGHUMM HALEPENSE), (t1nlm grass, (TRIPSACUMT
DACTYLOIDES) and possibly upon other large stalked
grasses. It is becoming quite destructive to cane in some
parts of Florida.
The eggs are laid overlapping each other in elongated
clusters of ten to thirty usually, though the range is from
two to ninety or more.. They are deposited upon the
leaves either above or below, the majority on the under
side and in greater numbers along the midrib than else-
where. They are light yellowish in color when first laid
and become of a deep orange or orange-brown before
hatching which occurs in from five to ten days after they
are laid, according to the temperature. The larvie either
make their way to the terminal funnel of the stalk and
feed there together for some days, later going down to the
December 15th, 1903.
leaf axils, or they at once. pass between the outer leaf
sheaths and feed in the leaf tissue between the leaf and
the stalk for about ten days. After this they penetrate
the stalk, usually at or near the joint and burrow through
the pith, commonly upward. The borer often leaves' the
stalk at one place and enters by a new burrow, thus mak-
ing several holes before reaching maturity. Four moults
are made before full growth is attained and pupation oc-
curs in the burrow in from twenty-five to thirty days in
summer, but in winter the larval period may last as long
as four months. The moth or "fly" is a small straw-
colored insect varied with darkened lines and margined
dots of black on the fore wings, the hind wings being sil-
very white or in some males inclined to yellowish. Each
female will deposit from less than one hundred to as
many as five hundred eggs, about one hundred and fifty
to two hundred representing the usual number. There
are several generations of the moth during one season.
The damage to the cane by the borer consists not alone
in the consumption and destruction of a certain amount
of sugar content but in furnishing an opening for fungi
and ferments which by dissemination through the juice
of good and uninjured cane deteriorate the entire product.
The following are some of the remedial suggestions
that have beeni found most efficient:
1. Use no infected canes for planting.
2. Cut out all diseased canes as soon as they appear
and burn them.. All fragments of tops and canes that
escape burning should be buried under a few inches of
soil, since the moth upon emerging from the chrysalis
cannot penetrate even a slight covering of soil.
3. All dried and rejected canes are to be burnt as
soon as possible after being cut.
4. Corn or succession cane should not be planted on
infested ground. Instead, rotate with some non-gram-
mineous crop until the plantation is freed from borers.
5. The growth of shoots and suckers from the stub-
ble of early cut cane should be prevented by shaving the
stubble close to the ground and covering with earth.
Wherever these shoots or suckers appear, they shonld be
cut down before frost; the larvae will perish as their
food withers, though the same larvae would live in ma-
6. Fall planting is better than spring planting since
the moths appear in greatest numbers during March and
April and with young cane they go to the terminal or
growing ends at once.
7. Picking the eggs is practiced with fair results in
By burning and burying all trash on the plantation,
picking up and destroying all stalks that have dropped
from wagons, cars, etc., in transportation together with
the trash about the mill, by clean field culture and not
planting near the cane other crops in which the insect
can breed, the pest can be reduced to an inappreciable
factor in cane growing.
*A" stft1 papers please copy or notice.