Mealy bugs had made their debut 10 years back at coconut plantations in Tamil Nadu. These tiny bugs which infest on coconut and papaya plantations had destroyed many hectares of land in the state.
These parasitic crawlers feed on plant sap. While feeding, a sticky waste substance is excreted by the insect. This liquid adheres to leaves and provides a medium for sooty mold to colonize and grow. Sooty mold is black and eventually covers leaves and stems. This mold inhibits infected portions of the plant from photosynthesizing and causes aesthetic damage.
After 10 years it has not only touched Assam but beetle nut, coconut, banana and papaya plantations have already been destroyed in middle-lower region of the state.
It is worth mentioning that although the attack is being carried on domestic plants, the news has not spread much. However, these almost next to impossible to destroy pests have not only destroyed the aforementioned plantations but more than 50 types of plants have been affected by it.
For the first time in the present year, these bugs have attacked the middle-lower region of Assam and if at the very beginning the government does not take any preventive measure, it will prove as a peril for the development of the agricultural sector.