LEGAZPI CITY (26-Oct-2012/PNA) – At least 80 percent of the five-hectare mangrove plantation in a Camarines Sur town was attacked by winged-insects called Tussock Moths (scientific name:Lepidopteral Lymatriidae) by eating the trees’ roots and leaves.
The Ecosystem Research and Development Service (ERDS) division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Bicol had immediately dispatched a team that evaluated the extent of damages and laid down the steps to stop the mangrove infestation in Barangay Cagsao, Calabanga town in Camarines Sur.
DENR-Bicol regional executive director Gilbert Gonzales said that the details of the pest attack was relayed to them by Calabanga mayor Evelyn Yu, who admitted she herself was alarmed when told that giant moths were past killing the three-year old mangrove plantation in her town.
Feliciano Lauricio Jr, a DENR-Bicol Pest Surveillance Officer, said the infestation caused the mangroves to gradually die as the moths’ caterpillars were destroying their leaves and roots by eating them.
But Lauricio said that the infestation can be easily controlled by sprinkling water mixed with detergent soap and crushed red pepper to the affected parts of the mangrove trees.
He said another method is to manually remove every caterpillar from the trees, or even through the installation of light traps to attract and kill the moths.(PNA)