Coconut Scale Insect (CSI) also known as cocolisap was first sighted in Tanauan, Batangas in 2010, affecting 4 provinces and 87 municipalities, to date, ranging from mild to moderate to heavy.
Due to the widespread infestation in the CALABARZON area, an emergency plan was mandated through Executive Order 169 Establishing Emergency Measures to Control and Manage the Spread and Damage of Aspidiotus rigidus in the Philippines and Designating the Philippine Coconut Authority as the Lead Agency for the Purpose signed by President Aquino on June 5, 2014 at Malacanang Palace, City of Manila.
It is estimated that an infested tree, depending on the degree of infestation, can have approximately 1M CSI. Based on modeling from literature search, (Pangga, I.B., 2014) 1000 CSI can multiply to about 200,000 in 45 days (less about 13% natural death).
PCA has done pruning, organic spraying (cochin), and detergent spraying since 2010 in sporadic manner and localized in certain area. These interventions did not successfully control infestation.
To control the infestation within a tree as well as the spread to neighboring trees/regions, a set of emergency, area-wide emergency control interventions should be put in place.
Based on several researches conducted by PCA, UPLB, and UP Diliman researchers funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), a council of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), a proposed general protocol for emergency, area-wide interventions involving all infected coconut trees was provided.
Treatment of CSI is with the use of Dinotefuran, a systemic insecticide which obtained a certification from the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) for emergency use. Dinotefuran in its field trial indicate a mortality of 65% with no residue observed in the coconut meat and water after 2 months (5 gms dissolved in 40 ml water per tree).
Prior to treatment, harvest all harvestable nuts (mature and buko) which shall be subject to quarantine inspection. Next harvest shall be done only 60- days after insecticidal trunk.
Infested leaves will be pruned and cut into pieces, the underside exposed to sun/rain. Infected old trees (60 years and older) are recommended for cutting.
After pruning Dinotefuran is injected through the trunk 0.5 meter below the crown for trees above four meters above the ground for trees 3-4 meters tall or 10 years older and below, using a battery-operated hand driller/syringe.
Laboratory experiments and field testing showed that it takes 2-5 days for the insecticide to reach the crown. After trunk injection, CSI decreased in population from 1-45 days.
Handlers must wear gloves and mask when handling the insecticide and only trained climbers will be employed for trunk injection. Climbers must wear hard-hat, spiked shoes, and harness.
Thirty days after insecticidal trunk injection, if there is indication of early stage of CSI outbreak based on monitoring, an organic pesticide will be sprayed underneath the leaves using the organic spray recommended by the PCA and the dosage recommended by the FPA. Spraying shall be done after 60 days depending on the CSI population situation as assessed by PCA and researchers.
Two weeks after organic spray, biological control agents (natural predators/parasitoids reared in designated laboratories) shall be released in areas with indication of early stage of CSI outbreaks based on monitoring. Introduction of predators/parasitoids in coconut infested trees shall be done in all affected barangays.
Release point shall be at the crown of the tree. Subsequent releases may be done a month after the first release of biological control agents as determined by the PCA and scientists.
Treated trees will be properly labeled with a code number. The population of CSI will be monitored at 30 and 60 days after treatment. Presence of insecticide residue in the coconut sap, meat and water, will be monitored weekly starting in the first week after trunk injection for 60 days or until zero concentration.