Mealybugs are injurious to oil palm in Angola, India, Ecuador, Colombia, Malaysia Indonesia, Maldives, etc. Mealybugs are the pests in oil palm nursery as well as on field palms attacking leaves and fruits. Some species live on the roots of causing yellowing and early die-back of the leaves.
Dysmicoccus spp. are known to infest the oil palm fresh fruit bunches by sucking the sap from mesocarp. When the harvest is delayed, there will be severe loss to ripe fruit bunches. The mealybug incidence is found increasing with the age of the palms. Since mealybugs are often carried by ants, elimination of the pest can easily be done by control of ants and keeping hygienic conditions in the garden. Poor hygienic conditions/sanitation practices are the major criteria for endemic infestation. Leaf pruning and weeding at regular intervals are found to keep the plantation free from the pest attack. Mealybugs Dysmicoccus brevipes can potentially be controlled by natural enemies such as ladybird beetles but are commonly controlled using chemicals; chemical pesticides may also decrease populations of natural enemies leading to mealybug outbreaks.
KeywordsNatural Enemy Chemical Pesticide Lady Beetle Palm Fruit Ladybird Beetle
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