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Symptoms of attack of Paddy stem borer: A number of stem borer moths seen dead and floating on the water in the fields. In the vegetative stage, dead hearts seen in the affected tillers and in the reproductive stage, whiteear may be seen.
Nature of damage of Paddy stem borer: The insect may start attacking the plants in the nursery especially long duration varieties.
The incidence is mild in the season June to September, but later on gets intensified from October to January and February. The caterpillar enters the stem and feeds on the growing shoot.
As a result the central shoot dries up and produces the characteristic dead heart. The tillers may get affected at different stages. When they are affected at the time of flowering the earheads become chaffy and are known as white ear.