An aggressive species of caterpillar known as Sena has started causing severe damages to various cultivated areas including maize plantations in three districts of Sri Lanka.
The Department of Agriculture says that details about this caterpillar have been reported from various parts of the island, and has recommended three types of pesticides for immediate use to control the caterpillar and moth.
They are namely Proclaim – Emamectin benzoate (mix 4 grams with 10 liters of water), Spinoperam – radiant – 25% WG (mix 3 grams with 10 liters of water) and Coragen - Chlorantranilliprole 200g (mix 3 milliliters with 10 liters of water).
These three pesticides are recommended to be used once every 7 days, after confirming the presence of the Sena caterpillar.
Repetitive use of the same pesticide is not recommended due to the fact that this caterpillar possesses a special ability to adapt to pesticides.
Aforementioned three types of pesticides are recommended to be used for not only large-scale cultivated areas, but also small ones, especially because this epidemic may spread if small areas are not covered.
Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, speaking to officials of the Department of Agriculture, had instructed relevant officials to take maximum measures possible to control Sena caterpillar.
The Department of Information states that the Minister had issued further instructions to take measures according to the nature of each situation.
This caterpillar lays approximately 200 eggs a time. Since the moth is able to fly up to 100 kilometers a day, with the air current, the moth causes rapid spread of the caterpillar.
The Agriculture Department further requests farmers to be vigilant.
The Department of Agriculture requests the public to immediately alert the area’s agriculture consultant, or contact 1920 or 081-2388316, in case this caterpillar is found.
Written by – Chathuranga Bandara