Pests Management strategies
Oryctes rhinoceros Remove and burn all dead coconut trees in the garden (which are likely to serve as breeding ground) to maintain good sanitation.
Collect and destroy the various bio-stages of the beetle from the manure pits (breeding ground of the pest) whenever manure is lifted from the pits.
Incorporate the entomopathogen i.e, fungus (Metarrhizium anisopliae) in manure pits to check the perpetuation of the pest.
Soak castor cake at 1 kg in 5 l of water in small mud pots and keep them in the coconut gardens to attract and kill the adults.
Treat the longitudinally split tender coconut stem and green petiole of fronds with fresh toddy and keep them in the garden to attract and trap the beetles.
Examine the crowns of tree at every harvest and hook out and kill the adults.
For seedlings, apply 3 naphthalene balls/palm weighing 3.5 g each at the base of inter space in leaf sheath in the 3 inner most leaves of the crown once in 45 days. Set up light traps following the first rains in summer and monsoon period to attract and kill the adult beetles.
Field release of Baculovirus inoculated adult rhinoceros beetle @ 15/ha reduces the leaf and crown damage caused by this beetle.
Apply mixture of either neem seed powder + sand (1:2) @150g per palm or neem seed kernel powder + sand (1:2) @150 g per palm in the base of the 3 inner most leaves in the crown.
Set up rhinolure pheromone trap @ 1/ 2 ha to trap and kill the beetles.
Black headed caterpillar
Opisina arenosella The incidence of the pest is noticed from the month of November to May and from August to November after rainfall. The coconut trees of all ages are attacked.
Release the larval (Bethylid, Braconid and Ichneumonid) and pupal (Eulophid) on (chalcid) parasitoids and predators periodically from January, to check the build up of the pest during summer.
Among the larval parasitoids, the bethylid Goniozus nephantidis is the most effective in controlling the pest. The optimum level of release is 1:8 of host-parasitoid ratio. The parasitoi should be released @3000/ha under the coconut trees when the pest is in the 2nd or 3rd instar larval stage. Parasitoid release trap may be used to release the parasitoid at the site of feeding. Parasitoids should not be released in the crown region since they will be killed by predators like spiders and reduviid bugs.
Remove and burn all affected leaves/leaflets.
Spray Malathion 50 EC 0.05% (1mi/lit) to cover the undersurface of the leaves thoroughly in case of severe epidemic outbreak of the pest in young palms.
Root feeding for the control of coconut Black headed caterpillar: Select a fresh and live root, cut sharply at an angle and insert the root in the insecticidal solution containing monocrotophos 36 WSC 10 ml + water 10 ml in a 7 x 10 cm polythene bag. Secure the bag tightly to the root with a cotton thread. Twenty four hours later, check whether there is absorption. If there is no absorption select another root. These methods should not be resorted to as a routine practice and it is suggested only for cases of severe epidemic outbreak of the pest and when the survival of the tree is threatened.
Red palm weevil
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Remove and burn all wilting or damaged palms in coconut gardens to prevent further perpetuation of the pest.
Avoid injuries on stems of palms as the wounds may serve as oviposition sites for the weevil. Fill all holes in the stem with cement.
Avoid the cutting of green leaves. If needed, they should be cut about 120 cm away from the stem.
Fill the crown and the axils of top most three leaves with a mixture of fine sand and neem seed powder or neem seed kernel powder (2:1) once in three months to prevent the attackof rhinoceros beetle damage in which the red palm weevil lays eggs.
Setting up of attractant traps (mud pots) containing sugarcane molasses 2½ kg or toddy 2½ litres + acetic acid 5 ml + yeast 5 g + longitudinally split tender coconut stem/logs of green petiole of leaves of 30 numbers in one acre to trap adult red palm weevils in large numbers.
Install pheromone trap @1/2 ha
Root feeding: As under black headed caterpillar
Odontotermes obesus Locate termite mounds in or near the coconut nursery or garden and destroy.
Swabbing with neem oil 5% once on the base and upto 2 m height of the trunk for effective control.
Spray copper sulphate 1% or cashew nut shell oil 80% or spray chlorphyriphos @ 3ml/lit of water, neem oil 5% or NSKE 20% to preserve plaited coconut leaves from the termite attack.
Aspidiotus destructor Pluck mature nuts and spray monocrotophos 36 WSC 1 ml/ha.
Do not harvest nuts for 45 days after spraying.
Pseudococcus longispinus Remove leaflets harbouring these insects and destroy them
Spray any one of the following : Malathion 50 EC 2 ml/lit
Dimethoate 30 EC 1 ml/lit
Methyl demeton 25 EC 1 ml/lit
Monocrotophos 36 WSC 1 ml/lit Neem oil 30ml/lit.
Turnaca acuta Collect and destroy the immature stages of the insects byconducting study (or neem compaign) wherever possible and spray carbary 50 WP 2 gm/lit .
Nut coreid bug Collect and destroy the immature stages of the insects by conducting study (or neem compaign) wherever possible and spray carbary 50 WP 2 gm/lit .
Root feeding with monocrotophos 36 WSC @ 10 ml + 10 ml water at 45 days interval for 3 times for control of leaf caterpillar.
Set up light trape to trap and collect adult moths
Spray Dichlorvas 76 WSC 2 ml / lit.
Contheyla rotunda Spray any one of the following:
Dichorvos 76 WSC 2 ml/lit
Bacillus thuringiensis 2 g/lit,
Methyl demeton 25 EC 4 ml/lit
Root feeding with monocrotophos 15 ml + 15 ml of water
Scolytid bark borer
Xyleborus parvulus Stem injection through a stove wick soaked in dimethoate 1ml/lit and plugging the hole and repeating the treatment using the same wick and hole a month after.
Aceria guerreronis Manurial and fertilizer recommendation (Soil application/tree/year)
Urea 1.3 kg
Superphosphate 2.0 kg
Muriate of potash* 3.5kg
* Increased quantity is recommended to increase the plant resistance to the mite. Neem cake application @ 5 kg
Organic manure (well rotten FYM) @ 50 kg