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Integrated Pest Managment For Controlling The Population Of Leaf Eating Caterpillar (LEC) And Bunch Moth (Tirathaba spp) In Oil Palm Plantation

Leaf Eating Caterpillar (LEC) or Bag Worm (Pteroma pendula, Metisa plana, Mahasena corbetti) and Bunch Moth (Tirathaba spp)


Both Leaf Eating Caterpillar (LEC) and Bunch Moth (BM) are important pests of the oil palm, Elaeis guineensis J. whereby moths whose larvae can cause severe damage to oil palm by their feeding activity on foliage of the crops. This loss of photosynthetic area would subsequently bring about a loss in yield; in severe cases of up to 40 – 50 %.

Experiences has shown that LEC and BM populations tend to increase when the oil palm environment is modified towards the unconducive for the survival of natural enemies of the pests. This could be due to cultural practices such as replanting and pollution and agronomic practices for example the indiscriminate spraying of pesticides. The used of Class 1 organo-phosphorus chemical pesticides such as Monocrotophos and Methamidophos may eradiated beneficial insect population such as pollination weevil, Elaeidobius kamerunensis. Thus, the losses may be a combination infestation of mixed both LEC/NC and the loss of pollination weevil that has led to the abortion of female flower.

Infestation were of single or usually mixed species (LEC and BM), and ranged from nil to 7,811 ha per year (Cheng Tuck H. et. all. 2010). Further, P. pendula has been identified to be the predominant species and is attributed to its ability to survive very wet weather (>200 mm rain per month) and its propensity to balloon compared to M. plana which is predisposed to wash-off by rain.

TERRA X is the biotechnology based product, which is contains beneficial microbes has been identified to be suitable and are often applied by mist-blowers.  TERRA X has been identified as fatal to Bag Worm, Bunch Moth (Thirataba mundella) but friendly to beneficial insect such as pollination beetle.

TERRA X contains beneficial microbes’ i.e.   

1. Bacillus thuringiensis (BT)
2. Beauvaria bassiana (BS)

TERRA X consumed by susceptible insect larvae release endotoxins and binds with the gut receptor and causes osmotic lyses and death to larvae

When spraying is carried out, it is important that the applications be timed to coincide with maximum larvae emergence. Spraying also be carried out when census data show that the pest populations have exceeded threshold level.

Domain : Bacteria
Phylum : Firmicutes
Class : Bacilli
Order : Bacillales
Family : Bacillaceae
Genus : Bacillus
Species : B. thuringiensis  Berliner 1915

Kingdom : Fungi
Division : Ascomycota
Class : Sordariomycetes
Order : Hypocreales
Family : Clavicipitaceae
Genus : Beauveris
Species : B. Bassiana (Bias – Criv) Vull 1912


Bacillus thuringiensis is gram-positive, soil-dwelling bacterium, commonly used as a biological pesticide. B. thuringiensis also occurs naturally in the gut of caterpillars of various types of moths. During sporulation, many BT strains produce crystal proteins (proteinaceous inclusions), called δ-endotoxins, that have insecticidal action.


Upon sporulation, B. thuringiensis forms crystals of proteinaceous insecticidal δ-endotoxins (called crystal proteins or Cry proteins), which are encoded by cry genes.

Cry toxins have specific activities against insect species of the orders Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), Diptera (flies and mosquitoes). Thus, B. thuringiensis serves as an important reservoir of Cry toxins for production of biological insecticides. When insects ingest toxin crystals, their alkaline digestive tracts denature the insoluble crystals, making them soluble and thus amenable to being cut with proteases found in the insect gut, which liberate the toxin from the crystal. The Cry toxin is then inserted into the insect gut cell membrane, paralyzing the digestive tract and forming a pore.  The insect stops eating and starves to death; live BT bacteria may also colonize the insect which can contribute to death.  The midgut bacteria of susceptible larvae may be required for B. thuringiensis insecticidal activity.


Beauveria bassiana is a fungus that grows naturally in soils throughout the world and acts as a parasite on various arthropod species, causing white muscardine disease; it thus belongs to the entomopathogenic fungi. It is being used as a biological insecticide to control a number of pests such as termites, thrips, whiteflies, aphids and different beetles.


The insect disease caused by the fungus is a muscardine which has been called white muscardine disease. When the microscopic spores of the fungus come into contact with the body of an insect host, they germinate, penetrate the cuticle, and grow inside, killing the insect within a matter of days. Afterwards, a white mold emerges from the cadaver and produces new spores. A typical isolate of B. bassiana can attack a broad range of insects; various isolates differ in their host.


Beauveria bassiana can be used as a biological insecticide to control a number of pests such as termites, whiteflies, and many other insects. The fungus rarely infects humans or other animals, so it is generally considered safe as an insecticide.


TERRA X controls the populations of LEC and BM in several ways:

1. Contact 

When TERRA X spray directly on to the pest or insect crawling at the spray area.

2. Residues   

Residue of TERRA X left over after spray will also effective to control LEC and NC by ingestion and when insect body part come in contact with the TERRA X residues.

3. Domino Effect 

The combination used of both BT and BS is to ensure the efficacy of TERRA X in the field by leveraging “domino effect” which define as cumulative effect produced when one event set off a chain of similar.

Infected LEC or NC will carry and spread out the white fungus disease (muscardine disease) cause by Beauvaria bassiana.  This will cause chain effect and long duration of pest control.

TERRA X will give complete control of larva stages of lepidopteran used unique mode of action.

It can only be effective against immature (larva) insects, and that its action is relatively slow.  For bagworms and nettles caterpillars, it’s will take 2 – 3 days to completely kill.

With this unique mode of action, TERRA X1 will give minimal impact to the beneficial pest such as pollination weevil (Elaeidobius kamerunicus) and predators Earwigs.


BIO Technology:  Target specific

TERRA X is biotech products which it is suitable for controlling LEC and NC.  Unique properties of TERRA X allow greater control and specific targeted to LEC and NC.

Wider windows to control larva

TERRA X will control all larva stages for LEC and NC by unique mode of action.  This will give bigger windows of LEC control. This will help better control with optimum labour input.

Safe to beneficial Insect and Predator

TERRA X unique mode of action will give minimal impact to beneficial insect such as oil palm pollination weevil and other natural predator to LEC and Tirathaba mundella such as earwigs insect.

TERRA X is suitable for IPM in controlling LEC and bunch moth in oil palm.  It can be alternate with agrochemical application and also alternate with others insecticides application for better pest control and avoid pest develop resistant.

Effective at Low Application Rates

TERRA X is made from Nano biotechnology which will make the low application dosage is sufficient to do the job.  TERRA X also effective against pest resistant to agrochemicals and others pesticide or bio pesticide such as BT (Bacillus thuringiensis).

Environmental Friendly

TERRA X1 exhibits very low human and aquatic toxicity while offering the environmental advantages of being readily biodegradable. Post-Harvest Interval (PHI) and Re Entry Interval (REI):  0 day

Target Pest and Dosage Recommendation

Rate per ha
Application Method
Oil Palm
Bag Worm (Pteroma pendula, Metisa plana, Mahasena corbetti) Nettle Caterpillar (Setora nitens, Darna trima, Setothosea asigna)
1.0lt                   (200 -250 ml/25 lt)
Mist spray at a palm parameter area of about 2 - 3 palm or at 3 palm interval. Repeat spraying forth-nightly at alternate row.
Bunch Moth
(Tirathaba spp)
250 - 300 ml
(30 ml /18 lt)
Mist spray at palm crown until the lower fruit area.


LEC Census

LEC census need to be carried out when attack detected.  This is to determine the spraying program, area and also the urgency of the LEC control.

Estimate Threshold Level (ETL) level is 5 – 10 active larva per fronds.

LEC Control

1. Prevention spraying (1.0 lt/145 palm/Ha).

Prevention spray when LEC attack detected especially along the road side.  Spray along the roadside cover 2 palm for each left and right of the plantation road.  Area coverage must around 10 ha perimeter.

If the access road cover big plantation block, spraying must be carried out inside the block to make it 10 ha perimeters.

Spray interval at 14 days.

2. Block Spraying (1.0 lt / Ha)

This happen when LEC attack occurred at spot area inside the plantation harvesting rows. Some below ETL and some spot above ETL.

Spraying need to carried out at alternate row or alternate 2 row for better coverage and control.  At the same time, perimeter spray need to be carried out to stop the infestation to others block. Spray interval at 14 days.

3. Out Break Spraying.

Outbreak spraying must follow the census, priorities need to be given to high infestation area.  Blanket spray need to carry out at every palm for every 14 days until the attack is below than ETL level.

Tirathaba sp Control

1. Mix 20 – 30 ml/18 lt of water.
2. Spray 1.0 – 2.0 lt (depending on the severity) the solution onto oil palm bunches from top to down and make sure all the oil palm bunches cover inclusive inflorescence.  For example; every CKS (18 lt) will be covered 18 oil palm trees.


a. Calendar Spraying (6 month Interval)

Preventive Treatment:

Treatment need to be done at 6 month interval or two campaign a year.  One campaign consist of 2 – 3 round of spraying at 14 days interval.

b. Block Treatment (Via ETL Census)

Curative Treatment:

Treatment need to be done immediately after fresh damage or present of pest is more than ETL level (5-10%). Treatment must be carry out at 14 days interval and 1-3 rounds is sufficient or until the fresh damage is below than ETL level (5 – 10%).  Treatment can be done by block basis.

Value Computation for Tirathaba mundella Controls TERRA X vs. Current Practices (BT)

RM per LT
Dosage ml per 18 L
RM / 18 L
Total Palm
Cost per Palm
Cost per ha
BT "A"
BT "B"

** Assumption of 145 palm per ha

TERRA X cost per ha is comparable with estate current practices but the control is better due to the unique mode of action.  The IPM practices is strongly recommended for better long pest control and for long term pest management.


TERRA X contain active ingredient Bacillus thuringiensis and Beauvaria bassiana which its exhibit very low human and aquatic toxicity while offering the environmental advantages of being readily biodegradable.


TERRA X is a biotechnology products which suitable for suppress and control oil palm pest specific targeted to LEC and bunch moth (Tirathaba mundella) as part of the IPM practices.  This approach will give longer period of control without impact environment, crops and users with cost effective methods.  IPM practices is strongly recommended for better pest control and at the same time will avoid pest from develop resistant by prolonging used of the same product with the same mode of action.

Puisi - Damailah Anak Syurga

Engkau dan gurumu senyum gembira,
Lalui hidup tanpa resah gelisah,
Tiap harimu ulang benda yang sama,
Tiap masamu penuh dengan cinta,
Membaca Kitab Mulia,
Menghafal Kalam Pencipta,
Mengamal Sunnah KekasihNya,
Makan dan tidurmu ditemani sinar cahaya,

Begitulah rutin harian mingguanmu.
Tiba masa engkau pulang ke desa,
Jumpa adik, kakak, ayah dan bonda,
Kalian kongsi banyak cerita,
Kalian gembira ramai kawan di sana,

Sempat kalian kata pada bonda,
"Tidak terbalas budimu, hanya ingin jadi tahfiz di usia muda,
pegang tangan menuju sama ke Syurga."
Anakku insan pilihan,
Bila mana kami sibuk dengan dunia,
Cari wang, pangkat dan kuasa,
Engkau setia segak berjubah putih, serban di kepala,
Tanganmu erat memegang mukjizat istimewa,
Bibirmu terucap bait-bait indah belaka.
Sungguh dikau pilihan terbaik, insan istimewa.

Kita tidak kenal dan tak pernah bersua,
Pagi tadi,
Kita bagai saudara dekat selalu bersama,
Tika mana kami lena dibuai mimpi,
Engkau bergelut diuji,
Menjerit pinta pertolongan,
Tapi sayang tangan kami tak sampai,
Alangkah berdosanya diri ini.

Hati ini sayu melihat potretmu itu,
Suci, bersih bersulam senyuman manis,
Hati ini menangis mengenangkanmu,
Pemergiaanmu ditangisi ramai manusia,
Hilanglah butir-butir permata dalam dunia,
Bumi dan langit pun seolah turut berdukacita,
Rebah si ibu, jatuh si ayah,
Kakak dan adik terkelu lidah,
Anakku yang dulu selalu bergurau,
Kini bermain di Syurga Ilahi..

Doa kami sentiasa iringi,
Satu perlu engkau tahu,
Pergimu amat dirindui,
Andai ada ruang di sana,
Pilihlah kami menjadi temanmu nanti,
Berehatlah, tidur dengan lena,
Damailah wahai anak Syurga.

Sept 2017


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