Pest outbreaks in Pacific Islands
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CTA. 1995. Pest outbreaks in Pacific Islands. Spore 55. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49570
'No man is an island, entire unto itself,' wrote John Donne, a seventeenth century poet meaning that people could not hold themselves isolated from events happening around them. It was perhaps possible in his day for islands to exist as places of...
No man is an island, entire unto itself,' wrote John Donne, a seventeenth century poet meaning that people could not hold themselves isolated from events happening around them. It was perhaps possible in his day for islands to exist as places of isolation. But in these days of modern, fast communication that is no longer possible and islanders find themselves invaded by visitors that are not always welcome. Two localities in the South Pacific are reporting such invasions. Nanumaga Island in Tuvalu has reported a pest causing damage to breadfruit, banana, coconut and ornamental plants in June of this year. Damage to affected plants was extensive and spread quickly from village to village. A CSIRO entomologist resident in Kiribati, Dr Sandhu, has identified the pest as a type of scale insect, Aspidiotus destructor. He thinks that over a period of time, perhaps more than a hundred years, the pest has made its way from the Philippines. He recommends the use of biological control using Crytognathus nodicefs and Chilocorus nigrita which are coccirellid beetles which feed only on the scale insect. Washington Island in the Republic of Kiribati is also suffering a pest invasion. Coconut is the dominant vegetation covering nearly 80% of the land area, with copra the main cash crop. Earlier in the year a consignment of copra from Washington Island was found to have white grubs and brownish beetles in conspicuous tunnels in the inside nut shell, while the outside had circular holes. Dr Sandhu has tentatively identified the beetle as the lesser grain borer (Rhyzopertha dominica). There has been no record of this pest on Washington Island or Kiribati before. Both these examples highlight the importance of ensuring that quarantine regulations are carried out effectively. IRETA offers a free service (sponsored by CTA) which provides agriculturists working in ACP countries with photocopies of literature on the subject of quarantine in the region. IRETA USP Alafua Campus Private Bag WESTERN SAMOA