Scale insects infest coco tree in Basilan PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 July 2013 14:12

The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has reported the scale insect infestation of some 6,000 coconut trees in 15 barangays in Isabela City, Basilan province.
Rudy Corsame, PCA head for Isabela City, said the insects must have come from Batangas where the infestation has been destroying coconut trees.
Corsame did not say how the coconut scale insects found their way to Basilan province.
However, the PCA theorized that the scale insect outbreak was wrought by “imbalance or loss of natural enemies” due to excessive use of pesticides or by natural causes such as long drought and climate change.
The coconut scale insects (Aspidiotus destructor) are considered plant parasites as they feed on the sap from the plant’s vascular system resulting in the yellowing of leaves progressing to drying and wilting in young and old palms, according to Corsame.
Such kind of pest also attacks ornamental plants and fruit trees like mango, lanzones, mango, mangosteen, guava, papaya, avocado and others, he said.
Reports said that the scale insects have attacked fruit trees particularly lanzones in some parts of the region but the Department of Agriculture is still investigating the report.
The PCA, to control the pest, recommends leaf pruning of affected coconut trees and other plants to reduce its reproduction and to prevent its spread to other areas.
The PCA also embarks on biological control by releasing “coccinellid predators” that feed on scale insects. — LS