Green Meali TM Plus
BIO MANAGEMENT OF MEALY BUGS
Mealy bugs are becoming major problem in Cotton, Chillies, Orchards etc.
Dry spell is conducive for growth of Mealy bugs. Maconellicoccus hirsutus has become a major problem in cotton districts of Punjab.
The mealy bug insect, indeed, is different from most other pests in several respects which pose special problems in combating it. The most significant — as also, perhaps, odd — among them is that males are not necessary for reproduction in mealy bugs. Female adults lay, on their own, around 400 to 600 eggs which are capable of growing into young mealy bugs called crawlers, because of the way they move about, within three to nine days.
Besides, on maturity, these insects acquire a cottony look because of their soft bodies that get covered with white mealy wax, making them virtually indistinguishable from cotton.
Females molt twice before becoming adults. Males have an additional pupal stage spent in a thin cocoon. During this period they develop wings. The males have no mouthparts. Their only purpose in life is to grow wings to fly, find a female (who is wingless) and mate with her. There may be several generations of mealy bugs per year.
Hot, dry weather offers favorable growing conditions for mealy bugs.
These pests, because of their sticky nature, can travel to distant places by clinging on to vectors (Ants), farm equipment, animals or even people and agricultural workers moving from one place to another.
Indeed, both young ones and adults are enemies of the plants. By sucking the sap from leaves, they cause withering of leaves, stunting of plant growth, and premature dropping-off of cotton bolls. In the case of heavy infestation, the pest can totally denude the plants of leaves, leading to their demise.
Worse still, no mealy bug-resistant cotton / crop varieties or hybrids are available as yet. Pesticides need to be sprayed five to six times to control the pest. These cost over USD 100 (Rs 4,500 a hectare), which many farmers can ill-afford. Experts are, therefore, advising growers to take preventive measures to ward off this menace.
For this, the farmers need to prevent ant movement in the fileds, eradicate the alternative host plants, notably weeds like the Congress grass (parthenium). They are also required to destroy the colonies of ants during the land preparation operations as the ants help and abet in the survival of the pest. However, once the crop is in the field, constant monitoring is essential for early detection and destruction of the pests.
Indeed, the mealy bug hazard being what it is, one can only hope that the proposed campaign against it is implemented meticulously. Otherwise, this menace can get out of control, nullifying the gains from the cultivation of Bt-cotton.
Ants favour the honey dew secreted by the Mealy bugs and get attracted to suck the dew. The mealy coating helps the bugs to adhere to body of Ants. Ants go from plant to plant and thus are vectors of Mealy bugs.
Chemical Pesticides can not penetrate the mealy coating of the Mealy bugs and therefore are ineffective to control them.
Entomopathogenic fungi like Verticillium lecanii / Beauveria bassiana are found to be effective in management of Mealy bugs.
However, these fungi need higher humidity to multiply and pathogensie the Mealy bugs. In dry spells, these fungi can not multiply.
Thus normal formulations of these biopesticides are also less effective in management of Mealy bugs.
The new proven BioApproach
Green Meali TM Plus is an unique formulation based on effective strain of Verticillium lecanii that produces efficient endotoxins and is virulent to grow in adverse situations of dry spell also.
Green Meali TM Plus is a soluble powder formulation that has high endotoxins secreted by Entomopathogenic fungus Verticillium lecanii . The concentrated product has adequate endo toxins and thus can penetrate the mealy coating even in dry spell. The spores multiply on the crawlers (bugs) effectively once they get in contact with actual body of mealy bugs.
Thus, Green Meali TM Plus is effective in management of Mealy bugs in dry spells also – unlike normal formulations
Green Meali TM Plus spraying at 500 g per Acre gives good control of Mealy bugs.. Mix 500 g of Green MealiTM Plus in 200 Lt of water and give a drenching spray. Increase the volume water and corresponding dose of Green Meali TM Plus @ 2.5 g per Lt of water. Avoid using mist blowers. If mist blowers are to be used, the gatewall of the nozzle has to facilitate drenching spray. Green Pacer TM MA (Metarhizium anisopliae ) 250 g to be mixed with equal qty of Jaggery (crude sugar) and 2 Kg Wheat floor and add some water to make a free flowing wet powder and broadcast in 1 acre of land – same day of spraying. Green Pacer TM MA is effective on Ants. Ants get attracted to the sweet floor and thus the spores of Metarhizium in Green Pacer TM MA get on the body of Ants. The colony of ants move to ant hills carrying these wheat floor grains and thus, the colony gets pathogenised. As the ants get busy in collecting the sweet grains of floor, they do not move up the plant for the honey dew of Mealy bugs, therefore the spread of pest from plant to plant is prevented. Repeat Green Meali TM Plus and Green Pacer TM MA application after a week.