Bamboo seed bug attack reported in Sultan Bathery after 30 years
Sultan Bathery: Attack by a swarm of bamboo seed bugs (Udonga Montana) has been reported at Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary here. It has been 3 decades since the a major attack by the bugs happened in Wayanad. These bugs have reached the Valluvadi forest under the Bathery Range. They have covered acres of trees and shrubs along the forest boundary.
The scientist at the Kerala Agricultural University, Assistant Professor Dr Gavas Ragesh identified this bug. This is the fourth major attack of this insect reported in Kerala.
Earlier, the bugs were found in large numbers in the bamboo forests of Wayanad in 1991 and later in 1992. At that time, there was a big attack of this bug which affected the flowering cycle of the bamboo.
Later in June 2021, another attack took place in Vathikudi panchayath in Idukki. These were found in Assam, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu before this.
It is believed that bamboo seed bugs arrived in swarms after the bamboo bloomed in the wildlife sanctuary. Although bamboo flowers and seeds are their favourite food, they also eat other trees and plants. Also, they drain the juice of the shoots. The locals around this area are concerned about the bug that emits a foul smell and also causes allergies in some people.