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Rice Black Bug infestation in Bulacan, not alarming
Thursday, 08 May 2014
CITY OF MALOLOS- The Provincial Government of Bulacan (PGB) through the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) announced recently that Bulakenyo farmers need not worry about the infestation of the Rice Black Bugs (RBB) because it has not reached the alarming stage yet.

“Hindi dapat mag-alala ang mga kalalawigan nating magsasaka dahil ginagawa po natin ang lahat ng posibleng paraan para ma-control at tuluyang mawala ang peste na ito sa ating mga pananim, lalo na sa palay kasi alam naman natin na marami sa mga Bulakenyo ay ito ang ikinabubuhay,” said Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado.

The governor said that the PAO headed by Gloria Carrillo is strictly monitoring the reported sighting of the pest in municipalities of San Miguel, San Ildefonso, San Rafael and Baliwag and luckily it did not reach the five (5) adult RBB per hill which is considered damaging.

However, Carrillo said that although the situation with regard to RBB has not yet reached the distressing stage, their office is still doing precautionary measures to prevent possible infestation.

“Pero kahit naman hindi ganon ka-damaging ‘yung RBB dito sa Bulacan, we still do massive information campaign. Sinasama rin namin ‘yung topic about RBB sa Integrated Pest Management Seminar para sa mga magsasaka at agriculture workers para magkaroon sila ng kaalaman tungkol dito. Konti pa lang kasi ‘yung kaso pero ‘pag napabayaan, maaaring kumalat”, said Carrillo.

According to the Philippine Rice Research Institute’s (PhilRice) Crop Protection Division, the RBB which was reported to have infested some countries in Asia in various years are small, cryptic and highly invasive pest species attacking all growth stages of the rice plant which can be controlled naturally.

One recommended technique is to use light traps because the bugs are strongly attracted to high intensity light where light is placed over water in a big basin to attract bugs and drowning them in the process.
PhilRice experts said that light trapping of insects should start five days before and after the full moon and to use 2000-3000 watts or super light during outbreaks and set them up every night to obtain the most number of bugs. Effective light trapping is from 8pm to 12 pm.

The experts said that flooding, herding of ducks in the field, and sanitation also prevents pest infestation. Aside from these, they are also encouraging farmers to minimize the use of insecticide so as not to kill the natural enemies of RBB which include wasps; ground and coccinellid beetle; wolf, lynx, and long-jawed spider; red ant; and damsel bug.

Carillo added that weeding to destroy the habitat of RBB can also help exterminate the said pest. ###

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