New insect in U-K causing concern: Kageri

People of Siddapur in Uttara Kannada (U-K) district are facing a unique problem.

Scores of a new type of insect have attacked trees in the forest areas of the region for the last few months and they are spreading to towns now, the Assembly was informed on Monday.

Raising the issue, Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri (BJP) said, “There is an explosion of insects which has been identified as Udonga Montana by entomologists.

These small insects, which are new to the region, are spreading in the forests. Even the subject experts do not have much knowledge about this insect.

Though they are not harming the vegetation, they have become a menace. Farmers are scared. The government must pay attention to contain the spread of the insects,” he said.

The MLA released pictures of the insects which have settled on trees. Animal Husbandry Minister T B Jayachandra said that the director of University of Agriculture, Dharwad, would be directed to visit the affected areas and take remedial measures immediately.

Dr Javare Gowda, Associate Professor, Entomology, College of Forestry, Sirsi, said he, along with some scientists, had visited Magani forest in Sampagod of Siddapur where the problem has been reported.

“The insects have settled on the vegetation in large numbers.

It is common in the northeast India during the bamboo flowering time.

For the first time, they have been found in Uttara Kannada. Earlier, the insects were noticed in Mudigere (Chikmagalur district) and Banavasi (U-K district). A team of scientists will visit the area again on Tuesday,” he said.

Gowda said the insects feed on bamboo flowers and once the flowers wither, they vanish. They are not a threat, but of a nuisance value and very smelly.

“In the northeastern states, tribals collect the insects and sell them. They are consumed as food,” he pointed out.

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