??The Frangipani Moth: www.dreamstime.com

The Ministry of Agriculture has been offering advice to Barbadians about how to deal with the troublesome plant pest, the Frangipani Moth.

Also known as Pseudosphinx tetrio, the moth occasionally attacks the Frangipani tree and plant. Locally, it also feeds on Allamanda and Desert Rose.

The adults are a drab gray colour but the larvae are brightly coloured large caterpillars. They are velvety black with yellow green rings and a reddish orange head and can grow up to six inches in length.

Female moths lay approximately 50 to 100 pale green eggs in clusters on leaves of the tree. The caterpillars often appear in gardens or landscaping and can defoliate Frangipani trees in a few days.

Entomologist at the Ministry of Agriculture, Ian Gibbs, noted that there were three ways to be eliminate the moth.??

"[You] can do nothing, as after the caterpillars have defoliated the plants they will recover and produce new leaves again [or] you can remove the caterpillars from the tree and destroy them or spray the plants with an insecticide such as Perfekthion which penetrates the leaves so when the caterpillars feed on them, they will be killed," he explained.


??Caterpilar stage of the Frangipani??

Further information on this plant pest may be obtained by contacting the Entomology Section of the Ministry of Agriculture at 434-5103 or 310-2821.


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