Friday, August 3, 2012

Insect pests of Casuarina

Dear Friends,

In this third part of the series about pests, I have borrowed Pics from Dr.Balu, Entomologist, Forest Protection Division, IFGTB, Coimbatore and text content from Forest College and Research Institute, Mettupalayam to explain about 'Pests of Casuarina'. (FCRI, Link on Major pests of Casuarina ).

Major Pests of Casuarina:
A bark feeding caterpillar is a major problem which results in heavy damage of trees due to the cylindrical tunnels created within the wood. Control of the pest is difficult, however application of one or two ml of kerosene in to the tunnel is found effective. Monocrotophos @ 5 ml per tree as bark padding method would be also be an effective chemical control.
Important pests and their control measures
S.No.Common pestControl Measure
1.Bag wormTopical application endosulfan or 
chlorlpyriphos 2ml/litre.
     2.Bark feeding 
Remove the feeding galleries and apply
insecticide soaked cotton 
(15ml of dichlorvos) in the bore holes.
     3.Stem borerInserting wire to remove feeding 
larvae and applying  insecticide soaked
 cotton (15ml of dichlorvos).
     4.Mealy bugTopical application of methyl dematon or 
dimethoate (2ml per litre)
     5.TermiteApplication for chlorlpyriphos 2 ml per litre
Termites also cause serious damage in young plantation by destroying the root system leading to the death of young trees. This can be arrested by soil drenching with chlorpyriphos  at  0.2 per cent.

Understanding their behaviour: Termites feed on dead organic material and when this is not available they will eat live plant material like roots and barks of live plants. So. it is an indication to the farmer that soil health is deteriorating and there is a need to increase organic matter in it.  

(Click on the pictures below to have an enlarged view).

Termite attack on Casuarina:
Sap suckers on Casuarina: Scales and Mealy bugs:

 Defoliators on Casuarina:Caterpillars and Bag worms
 Defoliators on Casuarina: Needle feeders:
 Defoliators on Casuarina: Needle miners:
 Bark feeders on Casuarina: 

The picture below illustrates Blister bark disease of Casuarina may be caused after the attack by pests or after mechanical injury.  Picture Courtesy:

Nematode attack:
Casuarina roots are susceptible to infection by nematodes. There are many varieties in Nematode pests like: Lesion nematode, Lance nematode, Reniform nematode, Root knot nematode and Cyst nematode.

Control measures:
1)   Soil application of 10 gms each of VAM culture, Paecilomyces, Pseudomonas fluorescens and  Trichoderma viride at the pit at the time of planting will greatly reduce nematode population.
2)    Apply carbofuran 3 G @ 5 gm (or) Cartop 2 gm per pit at the time of planting and another application after 2 months.
3)      Nematode infestation in trees of 2 to 3 years age can be controlled by applying 10 gm of Carbofuran / tree, 1 feet away from the base in a circular fashion.   

TNAU recommendations for Nematode control:
1)      Apply pressmud at 15 t/ha or poultry manure at 2 t/ha or neem cake 2 t/ha or before last ploughing in garden lands.

2) Under wetland conditions, intercropping sunnhemp or marigold or daincha coupled with application of pressmud 25 t/ha or neem cake 2 t/ha.

3) Crop rotation for 3 years with Marigold or gingelly or sunnhemp for nematode control.

To know about Mechanical, Cultural, Behavioural, Botanical, Biological and 

Chemical control of all the above Sucking pests and leaf eating caterpillars 

please visit: Ppt presentation on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by 

(the same author) Dr.Balu, a renowned Entomologist. 

The above Ppt presentation is also uploaded in top right side of this blog 

which can be used as a ready reckoner by our readers for the control of 

Insects and diseases in almost all the crops. 


A.Vishnu Sankar.

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