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Government Gazette

Mealy bug on verge of meeting its Waterloo

The mealy bug (Paracocus Marjinetus) menace which destroyed fruit and vegetable cultivations in recent times has been successfully controlled with the help of the Asaropegus papaya parasite imported from the USA Agriculture Department, said Director General of the Department of Agriculture Jinadari de Zoysa.

The mealy bug which is an invasive insect destroyed nearly 83 crops including chilli, papaw, jak, bread fruit, manioc and Araliya plants.

The most successful method to control this pest is bio-control. The predatory insects brought from USA released at nine places in mid May has been successful in controlling almost 95 to 100 percent of the bug.

The predatory parasite becomes active between two to six months after release. Farmers should not harbour any fear about the predatory insect as it does not harm any other insects or crops.

De Zoysa said her Department is constantly monitoring the situation and if any area is still affected by the mealy bug the public should inform the Field Crop Development and Research Institute on 081-2388011, 081-2388012 or 011-2388013 since the department is breeding the predatory insect at several centres.

 

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