Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 28  December 2016 p.  463-470
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.2016.2804.07

FIELD ABLATION AS CULTURAL CONTROL FOR BUNCH MOTH Tirathaba mundella INFESTATION IN YOUNG MATURE OIL PALM

Author(s): SU CHONG MING*; JOSEPH BONG CHOON FAH** and KHAIRULMAZMI AHMAD‡

The oil palm bunch moth, Tirathaba mundella, is becom­ing an oil palm bunch feed­ing pest of sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic impor­tance espe­cially on peat soil in Sarawak. The goal of this research was to inves­ti­gate the cul­tural con­trol effect of field abla­tion on heav­ily infested young mature oil palm planted on peat by T. mundella. From the field cen­sus car­ried out at bimonthly inter­val after three rounds of field abla­tion, the ablated fields con­sis­tently showed sig­nif­i­cantly high new T. mundella infes­ta­tion, 41.63% at week 20, 13.24% at week 28 and 7.68% at 36 weeks after three rounds of field abla­tion for oil palm fruit bunches cat­e­gory as com­pared to only 17.21%, 4.78% and 4.55% in the con­trol fields within the same mon­i­tor­ing period. Besides that, the mean lar­vae count obtained from ablated fields at week 20 was 28.68 which was also sig­nif­i­cantly higher than that obtained from the con­trol field at only 12.84 lar­vae. At week 20, the mean T. mundella lar­vae count and mean per­cent­age of new infes­ta­tion in ablated plots were 123.44% and 141.89% higher than con­trol, respec­tively. Both detailed field cen­sus and ran­dom field sam­pling results sug­gested that there was no sig­nif­i­cant effect of three rounds of field abla­tion in reduc­ing T. mundella pro­lif­er­a­tion and lar­vae den­sity in actual field con­di­tions. There­fore, field abla­tion could not be proven to be an effec­tive con­trol mea­sure to man­age the ini­tial pest den­sity and pro­lif­er­a­tion in the actual young mature oil palm fields espe­cially when those fields were heav­ily infested. Other means of con­trol meth­ods should there­fore be fur­ther explored to effec­tively con­trol the pest, which at the same time is environmental-friendly to main­tain a bal­anced oil palm ecosystem.

Keywords: , , , ,

Author Information
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board, 6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia. E-mail:


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