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White grub infestation

White Grub Attack in Bajra Crop: Causes, Symptoms, and Solutions


White grub, the larval stage of scarab beetles, poses a significant threat to Bajra (pearl millet) crops. These pests can cause extensive damage to the roots, leading to stunted growth, wilting, and reduced yields. Understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and implementing effective control measures are crucial for managing white grub infestations in Bajra crops.

Causes of White Grub Infestation

White grubs thrive in soil with high organic matter and moisture. They are most active during the rainy season when conditions are favorable for their development. The adult beetles lay eggs in the soil, and the emerging larvae feed on the roots of the Bajra plants.

Symptoms of White Grub Infestation

  1. Wilting and Yellowing: Affected plants exhibit wilting and yellowing, especially during the early growth stages.
  2. Stunted Growth: Infested plants show poor growth and reduced vigor.
  3. Root Damage: Upon closer inspection, the roots may appear chewed or damaged.
  4. Presence of Grubs: White, C-shaped larvae can be found in the soil around the roots.

Solutions for Managing White Grub Infestation

1. Cultural Practices

  • Crop Rotation: Implement crop rotation with non-host crops to break the lifecycle of the grubs.
  • Deep Plowing: Plow the fields deeply during the off-season to expose and kill the larvae.
  • Timely Sowing: Early sowing of Bajra can help the plants establish before the peak activity of the grubs.

2. Biological Control

  • Entomopathogenic Nematodes: Introduce beneficial nematodes such as Heterorhabditis and Steinernema species to infect and kill the grubs.
  • Bird Predation: Encourage birds that prey on grubs by setting up bird perches in the field.

3. Chemical Control

  • Soil Insecticides: Apply soil insecticides like chlorpyrifos or carbofuran during the early stages of plant growth. Ensure proper dosage and application techniques to avoid environmental damage.
  • Neem-Based Products: Use neem cake or neem oil as a soil amendment to deter egg-laying and larval development.

4. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

  • Combine cultural, biological, and chemical methods for a sustainable approach.
  • Regular monitoring of fields for early detection and timely intervention.


White grub infestations in Bajra crops can significantly impact yield and quality. By adopting a combination of cultural practices, biological controls, and chemical treatments within an Integrated Pest Management framework, farmers can effectively manage and mitigate the damage caused by these pests. Regular monitoring and timely action are key to protecting Bajra crops from white grub attacks.

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