Nine Iloilo towns report rice black bug sightings

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

NINE towns in Central and Northern Iloilo have reported sightings of rice black bug, a common rice pest, according to the Provincial Agricultural Office.

Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Elias Sandig said they are currently monitoring the presence of the rice black bugs in Sara, San Dionisio, Concepcion, Ajuy, Lemery, San Rafael, Calinog, Banate, and Passi City.

“Nine towns ang nag-report this week. May ginapaabot pa kita na report from other towns but subong presensiya man lang nila ang gina-monitor ta,” Sandig said in an interview on Wednesday.

While the situation is not yet alarming, Sandig said the presence of rice black bugs must be monitored as the pests will be difficult to manage once it starts to populate and infest the rice crops.

Earlier, Sandig said the rice pests can leave the rice crops withered since they suck through the stems of the plant.

Out of the towns who reported sightings of rice black bugs, Sandig said the municipality of Banate is now at risk because of its standing rice crops that might be attacked by the rice black bugs.

Sandig said the local government units (LGUs) of the towns that have reported sightings of the rice pests are currently using “super light” to control the pests.

“They are using super light to attract the rice black bugs. Once ma-attract ginasilhig nila kag ginabutang sa sako,” he said.

The rice black bugs can be fed to other farm animals according to Sandig like chicken and duck.

The increase on the population of the rice black bugs in the said towns is allegedly caused by the decrease of its predators.

Moreover, Sandig said it is natural for pests to propagate after a long dry season followed by the first rain.

“Normal nga reaction nga maglawig init kag matupa una nga uran, may mga gatuhaw nga mga kung ano mga peste,” he said.