9 Iloilo towns report rice black bug sightings

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The Iloilo Provincial Agricultural Office is now monitoring the presence of rice black bug, a common rice pest, in at least nine towns in Central and Northern Iloilo.

Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Elias Sandig said the sightings were reported in Sara, San Dionisio, Concepcion, Ajuy, Lemery, San Rafael, Calinog, Banate, and Passi City.

Sandig said Banate town is now at risk because of its standing rice crops that might be attacked by the rice black bugs.

He said that while the situation is not yet alarming for now, the pests will be difficult to manage once their population starts to grow and they 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.

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

The rice black bugs can be fed to other farm animals such as chickens and ducks, he said.

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