Rain trees fall prey to bugs, 150 infected
CBD BELAPUR: A large number of trees in the city have for the past one month been drying up. The trees have been adversely affected by mealybugs, which feed on plants.
A major concer n is t hat over 150 rain trees in Vashi and Nerul are reported to have been infected.
If action is not taken soon, hundreds of trees in the city could be destroyed.
Deputy municipal commissioner Chandrakant Tayde said, “The mealybug menace has in the past few days grown immensely. The areas which have rain t rees have been infested by mealybugs.”
On the action being taken by NMMC, Tayde said, “We have sent samples of the trees to Dapoli research centre. We are expecting a report from them this month.
Action will be taken accord- ingly against these insects to save the trees.”
Tayde assured of t i mely action and that it would be a scientifically- based response.
Aba Ranware, a tree expert, said, “Immediate action needs to be taken as after the rain trees, the other trees too could come under attack.
Ranware said, “Cell sap from the leaves is sucked by the mealybugs who inject saliva, which is poisonous, into them. This causes the trees to dry up. The leaves and branches of the tree start falling.”
“The affected branches of such trees should be immediately trimmed and destroyed. Neem pulp should be applied around the trunks. It will act as a repellent for the bugs,” added Ranware.