Tea species (Ahmed, 2005), of which only

Tea
(Camellia sinensis L.) is pre-eminently
an evergreen, perennial crop grown as a “single species forest” on large
contiguous areas. It is the most popular, stimulating, non-alcoholic and cheapest
beverage in the world. Since the commencement of tea culture in Bangladesh, numerous
pests have been associating with tea plantations. The pest range comprises of 25
insects, 4 mites and 10 nematode species (Ahmed, 2005), of which only a few have
become major pests. Every year, about 15% crop losses occur if sufficient control
measures are not taken (Ahmed, 1996) and it may be inflicted up to 50% or even more
by the incarnation of an epidemic of specific pests in an individual season or
tea estate. There are several species of mirid bugs associated with tea around
the world. Among them, the tea mosquito bug (TMB), Helopeltis theivora Waterhouse (Heteroptera: Miridae) is the
predominant one (Cranham 1966; Hazarika, et
al. 2009, Saha and Mukhapadhyay, 2013).

 

Helopeltis theivora
Waterhouse is one of the most notorious pests of tea in Bangladesh causing severe
loss in respect to both quantity and quality of tea (Ahmed et al., 1993). It is also a commonly occurring phytophagous pest of
cashew, coffee, cocoa, etc. (Srikumar and Bhat, 2013, Vanitha et al., 2014).
Records refer to the serious occurrence of the pest since 1957 (Sana, 1989). It
is also extensively distributed in India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia
and Africa. The name “Tea mosquito bug” is basically a misnomer as it
has no relation to common house mosquito. Interestingly, the severity of this
pest is only confined to greater Sylhet Zone, while almost absent in Chittagong
Zone. Helopeltis infestation has also
been recorded in the recently opened tea area in Panchagarh. This might be due
to close vicinity to the nearest Indian provincial teas. It has gained huge
significance during last few years owing to its pervasive occurrence in all the
six valleys in Sylhet Zone. The re-emergence of this pest has happened in an
alarming way even in clear and plain tea gardens (Ahmed and Mamun, 2014). Therefore,
the key objective of this review is to mount up current information on various
aspects of tea mosquito bug and integrated pest management (IPM) of this pest.

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