PILAR, Sorsogon, Philippines?At least eight hectares of rice fields here have been ravaged by rice black bugs.
Demosthenes Reverente, chief municipal agriculturist, said the pests have destroyed farms in five towns.
He said steps have been taken to control the infestation and reduce the damage to the towns? agricultural sector.
The rice black bug strikes at the stems of the palay, drying them up prematurely and destroying them.
Farmers here earlier complained of lack of rainwater, resulting in reduced number of planting and production cycles.
Reports said vast rice fields in the province still lacked irrigation systems.
The municipal agriculturist?s office, with the help of farmers, resorted to light trapping operations to burn bugs.
?The flooding in recent days somehow helped,? said Reverente.
David Gillego, provincial agriculturist, said there was no cause for alarm yet. He said his office has enough pesticides to help the town fight the bugs.
?These black bugs must have come from foreign ships,? he said. He said he suspected that some foreign countries ?want us to import more pesticides that they produce.?
The provincial government is checking reports of bug attacks also in Donsol and other parts of the province.
The bugs wrought destruction on palay farms and brought sufferings to farm workers two years ago.