Growing presence of TM bugs could damage neem, cashew plantations in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The presence of Tea Mosquito Bugs (TMBs) (Helopeltis spp.) (Miridae: Hemiptera) are on the rise in Odisha, which could cause neem and cashew plantations gradually shrivel up, warned a former professor of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) here today.

“The TM bugs have been entering the State in sizable numbers and they might pose a serious threat to our farmers. Neem and cashew plantations located in many parts of the State have started reducing to inanition,” the senior entomologist and academician Chitta Ranjan Satapathy stated.

These bugs lay eggs on the tissues of neem and cashew trees and larvae are released from the eggs, which in turn release a toxin leading to the decay of the plants. A timely spray of pesticides like Alpha Cyhalothrin could help save the plants, former professor Satapathy expressed.

Notably, these bugs are serious pests of cashew and neem during cropping season in Odisha and other cashew-growing states. Pest damage begins during the flushing stage of cashew and continues during flowering and fruiting. As such, TMB is a low-density pest but causes a reduction in nut yields ranging between 20 and 80 percent depending on the intensity of the pest population.

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