Tips to destroy plague worms
Eranakulam: Plague worms that destroy crops have been spotted in Poothrukka Panchayath in Eranakulam. The worm was first spotted on bean seedlings at a land where rubber was cultivated earlier. Gradually, the worm spread to crops in neighbouring plots too.
Plantain, vegetables, colocasia, yam, beans, castor, tapioca, orchid, balsam etc. were attacked by these worms. The attack was mostly at night. It comes under polyphagous category and eats leaves, flowers and fruits.
A fully-grown worm grows six centimetres. White narrow lines can be seen on these worms’ dark brown body. Its head and legs are in orange colour. The presence of these worms was confirmed by Regional Agricultural Research station, Vellayani.
The worms even eat tapioca, 'peringalam' (hill glory bower), siam weed and curry leaves which are used for making various natural pesticides. Experts said the presence of a virus that kills worms in the land appears to be promising as these worms will get to be destroyed naturally soon. It has an average life-span of 85 days and they move to human shelters at the end of its life span.
How to destroy them?
A mix of five to 10 millilitres of neem oil, six grams of bar-soap and one litre water or pesticides made of neem, in the ratio of five millilitre/one litre water, can be sprayed to destroy these worms. The use of chemical pesticide like Fame, Corragen, Delta Methrin etc can be used only in extreme cases.
These worms won't affect human or animal. Earlier, it was spotted in Sreekantapuram and Aaralam in Kannur district. More studies are required to know its origin, biology and arrival in the state, said expert.