A mysterious species of voracious insect appeared in Teknaf Upazila here and started eating up green leaves of trees, creating concern among locals.
However, the authorities concerned said the insects are not like locusts and urged people not to be worried about. According to locals, the green leaves of different trees here are disappearing due to the insect attack. They are eating up the leaves of all the trees, including that of mango orchards.
Sohel Shikder, a resident of Teknaf Sadar Union, said he saw some insects on the leaves of a mango tree near his home.
“I tried to drive these insects out by setting fire beneath the tree but they survived. Now there’s no green leave on the tree and the number of insects is growing,” he added.
Md Shafiul Alam, deputy assistant agriculture officer of the Upazila, said it is yet to be confirmed whether these insects are locust.
“Such an insect was never seen in the past. We’ve suggested spraying pesticides to keep the situation under control,” he said, adding that they have sent some pictures of the insects to Chattogram and Dhaka for scrutiny.
He also differentiated between the insect and locust, saying the locusts have wings and can fly easily. But these insects do not have wings like that of locust and they jump from one place to another instead of flying.
Md Kamrul Islam, information officer at the Department of Agricultural Extension, said they sent a high-level team of entomologists to Teknaf to look into the incident.
Apart from these, separate teams of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute and Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture are on their way to Teknaf.
According to Cox’s Bazar Department of Agricultural Extension, the insects died after the pesticide was sprayed on them.
“None of the insects is alive now,” deputy director of Cox’s Bazar DAD said, adding that these are not so harmful. He also urged people not to panic.