Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Recognize the problem
Pyrilla, also known as as sugarcane leafhopper, is the most destructive
sucking pest of sugarcane in Pakistan. Adults are white in colour initially but turn straw colour
later on. Young grubs are pale to light brown in colour. Eggs are white, oval-shaped
and can easily be seen on the underside of leaves by removing the wax.
Both adult and
young Pyrillas suck the cell sap from the underside of the leaves, mainly near
midribs. Leaves then turn yellowish with white spots and under heavy
infestation leaves turn yellowish white and dry up due to continuous sucking. The Pyrillas also secrete sweet sticky fluid
called “honey dew” on which a black film develops on the leaves. This affects the
growth of the plant.
cropping, high humidity, high levels of Nitrogen and irrigation, lodged canes
and varieties with soft and broad leaves favour the population build-up of this
dangerous pest. Heavy rainfall followed by wet and hot weather
also favours the pest builds up.
melanoleuca is an external parasite
on sugarcane and is very effective against sugarcane leafhopper. Contact the
local biological control laboratory for more details if possible
- After the harvesting of
the crop in winter, do not burn the crop remnants so that the natural enemies
in the remnants are conserved. Cut the remaining leaves of the previous crop (which
have large numbers of natural enemies) in lengths of 6 inches and staple them
in the new crop
- Use raised light traps
in the field during night hours to attract Pyrilla
- Remove the debris from
the field from August onwards to reduce the population of the insect
- Preferably no
insecticides should be applied to save the natural enemies but in endemic
conditions spray with Dimethoate @ 400ml and Chloropyriphos 1000 ml per 100
litres of water
When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.
The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to:
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