Controlling oil palm bagworms (Lepidoptera: Psychidae) by mass trapping of moths and in combination with Bacillus thuringiensis in Perak, Malaysia


Abstract: The bagworms, Metisa plana Walker and Pteroma pendula Joannis (Lepidoptera: Psychidae) are two of the most common bagworm species occurring in oil palm plantations in Malaysia. The outbreaks of these two species are recurring in several locations, particularly in the northern state of Perak (West coast) and southern state of Johor, of Peninsular Malaysia. Serious damage to the palms can reduce yields up to 43% for subsequent two years. Between 2006-2008, pheromone traps which consisted of sticky vanes baited with live receptive females were utilized quite effectively for mass trapping of the male moths of the bagworm, Metisa plana for controlling its subsequent population. Between 2011-2012, pheromone traps have also been utilized prior and between the aerial application of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to control the bagworm Pteroma pendula. The use of live virgin females as bait requires critical timing and identification of the receptive stage. Trapping was conducted at an average of 30 traps per hectare in locations of high pest density. Mass trapping of male bagworm moths was able to reduce the subsequent population of larvae by reducing the chances of mating. The pheromone traps had shown complementary effect to the Bt application. Whereby traps captured the male moths, Bt controlled the live, active feeding larval stages.

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