Mar 30, 2009 (LBO) – A Sri Lankan agro firm has set up a help desk to combat the spread of ‘mealy bug’ which is sweeping through home gardens in the island’s capital Colombo, and is threatening several agro areas. Hayleys Agro says its pesticide ‘Admire SL 20’ has been found to be effective in combating the mealy bug but it is not ideal for home gardens where houses are nearby.
Gamage says it is advisable to remove the plant or infected parts of the plant or to spray strong jets of water on the plant and spray with soapy water.
Applying grease on the bark can also prevent re-infection.
The life cycle of a mealy bug ranges from 21-30 days, but due to high temperature the life cycle can get shortened to 7-15 days.
Mealy bugs can reproduce by laying eggs or by bearing live young. The female mealy bug lays around 500-600 eggs at a time and these eggs hatch in ten days.
The nymphs, which are pale yellow, begin feeding immediately.
The young nymphs remain in a ˜crawler™ stage for a short time. Gradually a white fluffy, waxy coating begins to form over their bodies. As the coating gets thicker, the nymphs™ movements become sluggish.
The company says 200 species of mealy bug