Teak defoliator moth spreading rapidly in the State

Published on: 30 May, 2014
Published under: Kerala Agriculture News

With recent reports from various districts of Kerala it seems that teak defoliator moth is spreading across the state rapidly thus attacking trees and their growth. The larvae of the moth, Hyblaea puera, denude the trees feeding on tender leaves. The pest attack has been reported from as many as 10 districts.

The Tree Helpline of the Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, received several calls in the past two days reporting the menace from nearly 40 centres.

Reports reaching the institute indicate that infestations have occurred in many parts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Kannur, Kollam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Pathanamthitta, and Malappuram.

The pest attack, which was once confined to teak plantations, has now extended to homestead trees too. The insect is considered the most virulent pest attacking the trees of considerable economic value, researchers said.

The pest attack will have serious economic impact as it will reduce the potential volume increment of the wood. It can reduce the potential wood growth by 44 per cent, according to a research document published by the institute.The researchers have estimated that the attack can leave an economic loss of Rs.75,000 per hectare. The State government alone owns 75,000 hectare of teak plantations.

Src- http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/teak-defoliator-moth-spreading-across-kerala/article6065031.ece

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