Agriculture officials will release more than 100,000 wasps over the next month to control a rapidly spreading maggot infestation threatening the entire coconut tree crop in Banglamung District.
Chonburi Deputy Gov. Chanchai Iamcharoen and Banglamung District Chief Naris Niramaiwong presided over the release of the first 30,000 wasps in Huay Yai May 5.
The event also educated farmers on methods to prevent the spread of the black-headed coconut maggot, which now has infested 5,597 rai of crops in Chonburi. In January, officials said maggots had hit 1,800 rai in Pong and Nong Plalai sub-districts.
Growers were shown how to cut and burn leaves, correctly use pesticides and release the braconid wasps, which feed on the bugs.
Wasps are being grown in a project run jointly by the Chonburi Provincial Agriculture Office, 14th Military Circle, Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok, Chonburi Plant Protection Center and community-based pest management centers.
Samar Chuenwongsa, director of the Chonburi Agriculture Office, said wasp releases were planned for the next four weeks.