The Plant Protection and Quarantine Unit is advising residents that insecticide is not the solution to fighting the Scale insect affecting Balisier, Laplaine.
Ryan Anselm, Head of the unit, explained, “We have tried insecticide. That was the first thing we did although we knew it wouldn’t work…We tried most of the insecticide that we know but they did not work effectively; it will [work at] 20 or 30% [efficiency].
“So we’re working with our beetles, the ladybirds, they are the ones which will effectively manage the problem.”
The Ministry has found that chemicals are so far ineffective and so is asking the public to be patient and let the natural predator do its job.
“[The Scale is] an insect, not a disease; it’s an insect pest similar to Millibug which has a waxy substance over it so if you spray it, the chemical will remove some of the waxy substance but it will not be effective because it will not reach the insect itself. The insect is inside the scale,” he said. “The other thing is that if you use a chemical, it will kill all the parasitoids and the natural enemies.”
Anselm advised farmers that although their first response may be to spray for pests, the chemicals are harmful to the environment and human health.
He assured, “We have been doing very good work in the lab so what we are doing now is transferring the work to your fields to manage the pests for you.”