According to a recent report from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, a rice black bug infestation resulted in P1,445,862 in crop losses, across 30.12 hectares of land in La Castellana.
The infestation spanned five municipal barangays.
In response, the government agency has since provided metarhizium anisopliae, a type of fungus that grows in the soil and acts as a parasite for insects.
They also conducted a trapping operation, where around half a sack of bugs were collected.
The rice black bug kills plants by sucking out sap through the stem and typically strikes irrigated areas, as the said La Castellana crops were in an irrigated area.
The bugs are traditionally monitored during and after a full moon, as research has shown the insect’s flight activity is influenced by the moon./WDJ