‘Alitangya’ or rice black bugs attack Pampanga

A black bug (alitangya) attack has been recorded in some areas in the province of Pampanga.

After infesting Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija and Asingan, Pangasinan, black bugs or “alitangya” have also been spotted in some areas in Pampanga.

According to the Department of Agriculture, some parts of San Jose Malino in Mexico town, some parts of Arayat, and some parts of Sta. Ana.

Trojane Soberano, a science research specialist of the DA, clarified that the RBBs were just incidence and not yet an outbreak.

Aside from the pestilence of the rice, they smell bad when hit and dangerous when scattered on the road.

The DA is currently taking measures to prevent the spread of pests. Farmers and residents of RBB -affected areas have also been advised to use light trapping equipment.

“So, ‘pag nakita natin na may RBB na sa bukid, we can conduct light trapping 3 days before and 3 days after the full moon kasi that is the time na very active silang lumipad sa paligid,” said Soberano.

‘Alitangya’ or black bugs attack Pampanga

DA reminder, practice field monitoring, and report to their office.

The best thing to do with RBBs is to pick them up, collect and bury them in the ground so that they don’t multiply.

RBBs or alitangya in Tagalog are common in rainfed and irrigated wetland environments. It prefers continuously cropped irrigated areas and poorly drained fields. Damages are observed more frequently in dry season rice crops and densely planted fields.

Black bug flight patterns are affected by the lunar cycle; on full moon nights, large numbers of adults swarm to light sources.

Staggered planting of the crop and excessive nitrogen also favor the buildup of the pest. During non-rice periods, the presence of alternate breeding sites favors population increase.

The black bug eats on the rice plant from seedling to maturity growth stages. Ten black bug adults per hill can cause losses of up to 35% in some rice.

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