Three species of black bugs attack rice:, and, .
What it does?
Black bugs remove the sap of the plant. They can cause browning of leaves, deadheart, and bugburn. Their damage also causes stunting in plants, reduced tiller number, and formation of whiteheads.
On severe cases, black bugs weaken the plant preventing them from producing seeds.
Why and where it occurs
The insect is common in rainfed and irrigated wetland environments. It prefers continuously cropped irrigated rice 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 rice crop and excessive nitrogen also favor the buildup of the pest. During non-rice periods, the presence of alternate breeding site favors population increase.
How to identify
Deadhearts can also be caused by stemborer. To confirm cause of damage, pull infected plants. In black bug damage, infected plants cannot be pulled at the bases.
Heavy infestation and "bugburn" is usually visible after heading or maturing.
Why is it important
Black bug feeds 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.
How to manage
To prevent black bug infestation:
To control black bug infestation:
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