Cinnamon scale insect

Picture of a cinnamon scale insect

The cinnamon scale insect is one of the dangerous pests on cinnamon production from the tree’s internal branches, which are important as farm production. How to deal with it and what is the best possible treatment program for it?

Cinnamon Scale Bug - Plant World - Discover Artificial Intelligence and Agriculture

The cinnamon scale insect is considered one of the most important agricultural pests that infect cinnamon trees that are grown to obtain the inner branches of the tree for preparing cinnamon. This pest leads to significant damage to cinnamon production and general weakness of the infected shrubs, which encourages other pests to enter the orchards. What are the signs and manifestations of the cinnamon scale insect, and how can the cinnamon scale insect be controlled?

What is the cinnamon scale insect?

The cinnamon scale insect is an economic insect that infects cinnamon trees grown in Southeast Asia and the island of Ceylon, where tea is also grown. Cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon) is one of the most important food plants that contains volatile oils, eugenol and calcium oxalate. This insect prefers to attack young twigs, branches and leaves of the cinnamon tree, causing huge losses. This pest is widespread in cinnamon growing areas in the world, and is found in abundance on the island of Ceylon.

Description of the insect

The cinnamon scale insect is similar to other scale insects and is white with bright orange-crimson spots and a star-like shape, with symptoms very similar to the shape of the cinnamon branch itself. As for the incomplete stages, or nymphs, they are small, pale yellow insects that tend to be white and light brown in color. As they gather, they secrete a crusty substance that covers the tree.

Cinnamon scale insect infestation

Symptoms of cinnamon scale insect infection are manifested by the appearance of scales and hardened materials on the affected parts of the tree (leaves, twigs and external branches), causing a major loss of the main cinnamon production due to the low quality of the resulting branches and their unsuitability for marketing. The insect, in its adult and incomplete stages, feeds on sucking the sap of cinnamon trees and the parts mentioned above. This then results in poor tree growth and leaf fall. Usually, the leaves fall before they complete their growth on the tree. The abundant honeydew secreted by the insect also encourages the growth of black mold fungi on the site of the infection, sometimes covering the entire cinnamon tree. It is noted that this insect prefers shady places not exposed to the sun in the cinnamon grove.

The danger of the cinnamon scale insect

The danger of the cinnamon scale insect stems from the fact that it causes loss of production and a decrease in the tree’s yield from the branches that the farmer originally planted for this purpose. Also, as a result of the infestation, other pests are encouraged to attack the plants. Among the most important pests that may attack plants are the Australian cinnamon bug, stem borers, and thrips. And mites, and others. Other scale insects (black, red, purple, etc.) may also be attracted to cinnamon bushes and the loss becomes 80%. Also, severe pest interference may occur, and trees may become infected with non-insect pests (fungi, bacteria, etc.), and all of this results in the weakness of trees and entire orchards, forcing the farmer to apply integrated agricultural pest control within the cultivated cinnamon orchards.

Factors that encourage pest infection

Cinnamon Scale Bug - Plant World - Discover Artificial Intelligence and Agriculture

There are factors that encourage infection with the cinnamon scale insect, and the most important factors are:

There are no windbreaks around cinnamon planting areas when planting it in large areas.

There is also a lack of interest in afforestation (forest trees) and vegetation around cinnamon growing areas.

Plant cinnamon at close distances and increase agricultural density, because this pest prefers shade and distance from sun and light.

The presence of infested weeds in the infected cinnamon orchard exacerbates the infestation of nymphs and adults.

Imbalance in organic and mineral fertilization, which weakens cinnamon trees, which respond strongly to mineral fertilization.

Excessive nitrogen fertilization weakens the cinnamon tree and attracts non-insect pests (bacteria, fungi) because it makes the growth juicy, which is preferable to sap-sucking pests.

Moreover, the farmer’s failure to take care of the general condition of the cinnamon trees - especially pruning and irrigation - weakens the orchard and encourages the scale insect.

Insect life cycle

The cinnamon scale insect spends the winter in the small nymph stage, which is found on the branches between the corners and parts of the cinnamon tree, huddled and hidden. After that, in the spring, the nymphs are active when temperatures rise to 23-24 degrees Celsius and then reach full maturity in about two to several weeks, and this varies according to humidity levels and temperatures. Growth is usually complete in late spring or early summer, around July. Insects gather, creating crusty masses on the tree, and signs of infection are evident on cinnamon branches, twigs, and leaves. After mating, the female lays eggs under her shell in mid-summer in July or August. The nymphs then emerge and take refuge in the leaves during the summer on Ceylon cinnamon trees and elsewhere. In the fall, around October, the nymphs change their behavior and leave the leaves and attack the young branches. The insect has several generations per year.

Control of the cinnamon scale insect

Cinnamon Scale Bug - Plant World - Discover Artificial Intelligence and Agriculture

In order to combat the cinnamon scale insect, a number of preventive and curative measures are followed.

Preventive control of insect

The producer and farmer take care to plant the area planted with cinnamon with some forest trees, and add suitable windbreaks to reduce or prevent the transmission of the insect from the infected orchards. The farmer also takes care as much as possible of the general condition of the cinnamon trees in the field - especially irrigation, pruning, and planting the trees at appropriate distances of not less than 4.5 meters between them. The tree and the other and 5 m between the rows to leave an appropriate distance for the service. The farmer prunes the tree annually, gets rid of infected plant remains (especially branches and leaves), and removes them from cinnamon orchards and growing areas permanently. Also, the farmer must plant trees and plants at sufficient and distant distances so that the shade in the orchard does not increase, so that shade-loving insects do not become encouraged and infect the shaded shrubs. The farmer must also supervise balanced organic and mineral fertilization, not increase nitrogen fertilization, and balance as much as possible and increase fertilizer payments when the trees enter the fruiting stage, especially potash, which gives the cinnamon tree the ability to confront pests. The farmer takes care, as much as possible, to get rid of infested weeds in the orchard because they are a source of movement and movement of the small nymphs along with the wind, thus moving them from one cinnamon tree to another.

Therapeutic control of the pest

The best eradication pesticide for the pest is Dimeton-methyl, and although prevention is more important than treatment, the farmer resorts to control with organophosphorous pesticides specialized for scale insects as soon as an infestation of this insect occurs on a cinnamon tree. Be careful not to resort to this method if the matter does not warrant it. To avoid the spread of pesticide damage to the environment. When combating, the farmer uses winter oils fortified with a powerful organo-phospho pesticide such as Parathion-methyl, applied to the branches and branches of cinnamon bushes affected by scales and symptoms. Other pesticides, such as ethion and malathion, can also be used by spraying on the young, young branches and leaves of the cinnamon tree, and massaging and applying the branches and stem.

Cycle of using pesticides against the pest

For proper control, a course of pesticides is applied against the insect. In the first season of the cinnamon crop, the farmer uses the pesticide chlorthion by spraying it on the areas affected by scales and symptoms. In the second season, the farmer changes the pesticide and uses another pesticide, such as malathion, by spraying it on the infected cinnamon tree, including young branches, branches, and young leaves. At the beginning of the third season, the farmer uses a new pesticide, which is methyl parathion, by spraying it on the branches, twigs, leaves, and fruits. Then the farmer returns to the first pesticide, chlorthion, in the fourth season for cinnamon, and so on. The previous pesticide cycle is also changed after 8-9 years of its application within a single cinnamon orchard. The farmer must also take care not to use any harmful pesticides such as DDT and other hydrogen charcoal derivatives, as well as parathiouride pesticides.

Integrated pest management procedures

Integrated management of the cinnamon scale insect means a set of care and agricultural measures. The farmer sterilizes the soil by stirring it with the pesticide endosulfan or with solar energy. Sterilization is done by scattering plastic covers over the tree trunks near the crowns of the cinnamon trees at the surface of the soil. This contributes to raising the soil temperature during the summer months of July and August to about 60-70 degrees Celsius and eliminating resident, hidden pests. Farmers must also use different traps (pheromone, plastic, glass, toxic baits), as the traps are placed on cinnamon trees. To catch tunneling moths and leafhoppers that encourage other pests, including thrips and cinnamon mites. In addition, it is always recommended not to repeatedly use the same pesticide annually because this increases pest resistance. Also, harmful parathenoid pesticides or hydrogen charcoal (such as DDT) should not be used in infected cinnamon orchards, as it is recommended to use carbamate derivative pesticides and recommended organophosphorous pesticides. And safe.

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