Green caterpillars attack coconut trees, farms in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) — About 10 hectares of coconut plantation and farmlands in Calinan District have been damaged by green caterpillars since last month, a report from the City Agriculture Office said.

City Agriculture Officer Leonardo Avila III said their technicians found out during their field assessment on Monday with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) that the caterpillars mostly infested the leaves of the coconut trees.

“But there is no cause for alarm. It can easily be controlled,” he said of the infestation that has affected at least nine farmers.

Avila said they will work with the PCA in mitigating the spread of the caterpillars. He said they would do light trapping since it is the most effective method to combat the green caterpillars.

Light trapping uses electric bulbs in luring pests and insects.

Since the problem can be solved using an easy method, Avila said there will be no need for pesticides unlike in the case of the severe rat infestation in Paquibato District that needed budget for rodenticides.

He said that in the case of the rat infestation their technicians are currently teaching the community how to control the rodents in their farmlands.

As of Feb. 15, the agriculture office reported that the rats had damaged P30.1-million worth of crops in 1,391.96 hectares.

Avila blamed the rat and caterpillar infestations in the city on climate change. (MindaNews)