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Agricultural Health Authority warns that Asian Bean Thrip pest detected in Belize, launches tracking survey to protect Belizean crops

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Posted: Friday, March 12, 2021. 4:54 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) issued a memo today that it has detected the pest, Asian Bean Thrip, in the country.

This is the first report of the Asian Bean Thrip, scientific name Megalurothrips usitatus, in Belize. Florida, USA, was the only place in the Americas that had previously reported detecting it.

BAHA explained that the Asian Bean Thrip is a tiny, elongated yellow and dark insect measuring two millimeters and found mainly in flowers, buds, and leaves. This pest causes stunted growth and deformation of the flowers and growing tips, with its main hosts being red kidney beans and black eye peas. BAHA notes that it is also known to affect other hosts including soybean, pigeon pea, lima bean, peanuts other legumes, and even potatoes. 

“This is an important pest of beans and other legumes causing significant crop damage, ranging from moderate to severe as has been observed in field surveys in Belize. If the pest is not adequately managed damages can reach up to 100%, as has been reported in some cases,” BAHA explained.

The Authority said that it has launched a delimiting survey in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and CARDI, and determined that the pest has been detected in all bean-producing areas of Belize. The survey will determine distribution, population densities, and assess damages caused by this pest.

BAHA encouraged all producers of legumes, peanuts, and potatoes to contact its offices if they suspect the pest affecting their crops.

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