In the ear head, a pink to red liquid is secreted from the infected florets. It can drop on the foliage and onto the ground. The liquid contains a large amount of conidia. Infected florets do not produce grains. Black fungal masses replace the seeds.
Favorable conditions are a relative humid climate and temperatures between 20 to 39°C. 5 to 7 days after infection, honeydew is secreted. The honeydew promotes a secondary infection of the florets. Ergot can lead to severe health problems for humans and animals in case of consumption. The fungus survives throughout the year in plant residues.
Crude Neem products can be used.
Fungicides containing Ziram or Carbendazim can be used to control and prevent Ergot.