• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rica’s Agriculture and Livestock Ministry uses army of insects to fight pest

July 11, 2013

Costa Rica’s Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) invested ₡100 million ($200,000) to buy insects that act as biological agents against a pest named Thrips palmi, also known as melon thrips.

The bugs are currently affecting squash, melon, cucumber, watermelon, potatoes, tomatoes and other crops in several areas of the country, although MAG said the situation is “under control.”

To fight the pest, MAG’s State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) acquired 52,000 specimens of two different species of biological controllers: a mite named Amblyseius swirkii and a bedbug known as Oriusinsidiosus.

Some 40 percent of the insects were already released in the country’s southwestern region, and the remaining 60 percent in the northwestern region.

Elizabeth Ramírez, regional operations director for SFE, said that in order to get optimal results with these biological controllers MAG staff also are conducting lectures and awareness campaigns for local producers.

Melon thrips feed by sucking the cell content from leaves, stems, flowers and the surface of fruits, thereby causing silvery scars and leaf chlorosis. Plant growth can be deformed and heavily scarred. A severe infestation can even kill the entire plant.

You may be interested

Super Tuesday: Costa Rican soccer stars to feature today
Keylor Navas
1324 views
Keylor Navas
1324 views

Super Tuesday: Costa Rican soccer stars to feature today

The Tico Times - April 13, 2021

It's a big day for lovers of Costa Rican soccer. At 1 p.m. CST, goalkeeper Keylor Navas and PSG will…

Businessman Guillermo Lasso wins Ecuadorian election, vows to change ‘destiny’
Ecuador
5 views
Ecuador
5 views

Businessman Guillermo Lasso wins Ecuadorian election, vows to change ‘destiny’

Hector Velasco / AFP - April 12, 2021

Former banker Guillermo Lasso pledged to change crisis-wracked Ecuador's "destiny" after overcoming leftist economist Andres Arauz in the country's presidential…

Costa Rica unemployment rate remains among world’s highest
Costa Rica
2654 views
Costa Rica
2654 views

Costa Rica unemployment rate remains among world’s highest

The Tico Times - April 12, 2021

Unemployment in Costa Rica fell to 18.5% in the moving quarter from December to February, according to the National Institute…