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.