There is a natural way of controlling cassava mealybug infestations in Thailand, initiated by entomologists that can be environmentally friendly and posed no threat to humans, animals and other insects.
The Anagyrus lopezi wasp where its first colony was brought to Thailand from Benin, has shown that it is the formidable enemy and predator to the mealybugs.
The mealybug sucks sap from the plants and causes them to dry up resulting to yield losses up to 50 percent. Thailand, whose cassava crops are being infested by the South American mealybug is trying to neutralize the pest outbreak by preparing to release about 250,000 wasps.
Here’s how it works: The wasp inject their eggs into the mealybugs and when the eggs hatch they kill the unsuspecting host from the inside out. Wasp adult females also feed on the host insects.
Tony Belloti, an entomologist has said “Sending in the wasps is a proven way to kill the cassava mealybugs quickly and effectively. Think of them as a kind of eco-friendly SWAT team.”
Entomologists and scientists believe that if not controlled promptly, there are fears that the infestation will spread across southeast Asia anytime soon.