Eco-friendly and Cost Effective control for white grubs


Insect pests cause serious damage to important cultivated crops. In the last few decades, chemical control is widely adopted for management of these insect pests. However, dependence on pesticides is not sustainable because of associated environmental problems, development of resistance to insects, insecticides and outbreak of secondary pests. Hence there is a need to identify suitable alternative methods for the management of insect pests and among them, entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) are considered to be potential biological control agents against insect pests and the use of EPN has now become an integral part of insect pest management. Entomopathogenic nematodes have been developed as biocontrol agents on a commercial level for the control insect pests. They are currently being produced by several companies in Asia, Europe, and North America and at least 13 different EPN species have reached commercial development, application and sales. The limitation of the short shelf-life of EPN seriously hampers the survival of infective juveniles of nematode formulations. Oxygen and moisture are critical factors in storing of EPN in formulation for a longer time. There is a need to develop an EPN formulation with extended shelf-life and storage potential at tropical temperatures where in the nematode viability and infectivity should be maintained with survival rate more than 90 percent.

Technical description

♣ Though the EPN are excellent bio agent their poor storage is a major obstacle in using EPN as a potential bio agent.

♣ Significant progress was made in developing EPN formulations with enhanced nematode storage stability.

♣ This present ICAR-SBI EPN formulation is first of its kind in a unique combination of carrier materials with talc powder to attain a longer shelf life with viable infective nematode juveniles (IJs) of EPN by providing adequate aeration and moisture

♣ The formulation containing Heterorhabditis indica has a shelf life of nine months with 92% survival of nematodes at a temperature range of 30±5°C.

♣ The formulation containing Steinernema glaseri has a shelf life of 12 months with 90% survival of nematodes at a temperature range of 30±5°C.

♣ The EPN formulation caused mortality of the insect larvae of coleopteran white grub Holortrichia serrata and lepidopteron wax moth larvae Galleria mellonella

♣ Successful control of white grub under field conditions obtained with ICAR-SBI EPN formulation.



♣ EPNs are biopesticide, completely non toxic and safe to the environment

♣ Effective control of insect pests especially white grubs

♣ ICAR-SBI EPN Formulation has longer shelf life with commercial potential and cost effective

♣ EPN can be easily mass produced on Galleria larvae with a cost effective diet

♣ Commercially scaled up to different capacities depending on the requirements.

♣ No special costly equipments and materials are needed for the EPN production and Formulation

♣ No special containers needed to store the formulation as locally available aluminum lined high density polyethylene sachets are sufficient

♣ Easily applied in the field by broadcast, spot application, spraying with normal sprayers and water based application methods

Field Applications

♣ Recommended dose of EPN @ 1 x 108 IJs/ac (2 kg powder formulation/ac)

♣ EPN should be applied at first beetle emergence during onset of summer shower (April – June)

♣ Irrigate the field prior and after EPN application and keeping the treated area wet for at least 5days post application

♣ The ideal time of application is at evening hours so EPN can become active at night without risk of sunlight damage

♣ Give more concentrated application in the border rows extending to five to seven meters inside (white grub infestation generally seen on the boundaries of the plots and extending to a few meters inside).

♣ Thoroughly Mix the EPN powder formulation with 100kg soil or FYM and broadcast in the field or

♣ Mix the EPN formulation with water (150g EPN formulation/ sprayer tank) and can be applied using knapsack sprayer (nozzle and inside filters of the spray equipments should be removed to prevent them from becoming clogged with nematodes) in each sugarcane clump /any crop by making a 15-20cm pit using a crowbar.

White grub 3rd instar killed by ICAR-SBI EPN biopesticide formulation of Heterorhabditis indica strain SBITND78 (reddish coloured grubs). Note the healthy white grub at right top side end.

Photograph showing 3rd instar white grub infected with Steinernema glaseri strain SBILN1 (left black coloured) and Heterorhabditis indica strain SBITND78 (right reddish coloured) and healthy grub (middle white)

Contact for Licensing

The companies / firms interested to take ICAR- SBI EPN BIOPESTICIDE FORMULATION must Email to:


Agrinnovate India
G-2, A Block, NASC Complex,
DPS Marg, New Delhi- 110012, INDIA
Email info@agrinnovate.co.in



The Director
ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute,
Coimbatore – 641 007.
E-mail: director.sbi@icar.gov.in;abi.sbi@icar.gov.in;itmu.sbi@icar.gov.in
Off: 0422 – 2472621 (Ext: 203), 0422-2473971

Contact Address

Our Visitor Count


©2023. ICAR- SUGARCANE BREEDING INSTITUTE ,All Rights Reserved | Developed by AKMU, ICAR-SBI Coimbatore