Quick View About Insect Pests at Teaks
There are three well-known pest of teak;
1. Caterpillars of moth, Hyblaea puera, commonly known as the teak defoliator, feed on
the foliage during the early part of growth season, soon after flushing. It is believed to cause
on or more total defoliation events every year in most teak areas. The teak defoliator is a
migrant pest, with shifting foci of high-density infestation during the early outbreak period,
which coincides with pre-monsoon rains. This is followed by widespread infestation and
sudden disappearance of the pest population.
2. The teak leaf skeletoniser Eutectona machaeralis is also present in plantations in Java.
This caterpillar feed on the leaves, leaving the major veins intact, hence the name
‘skeletoniser’ and grasshopper.
3. The third notable pest of teak in Java is the termite Neoterme tectonae. Popularly
known as “Inger-inger”, this wood-dwelling termite hollows out portions of stem and
branches. Usually, the external symptom, swellings of the trunk and branches, become
visible on 3-5 year after the initiation of attack. The termites occupy crevices within the
swollen stem. Trees over 3 years old are attacked but the symptoms appear only later. It is
a serious problem in Java. Thinning of infested trees is the only practical method to reduce
the incidence of attack, although methods such as introduction of fumigants, e.g. phostoxin,
into the affected portion of the trunk have been tried.
The following teak pests are of lesser importance. The ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus destruens,
attacks the trunk of living teak trees making branching tunnel that extend into the heartwood.
The teak beehole borer, Xyleutes ceramica, which usually infests a small proportion of
sampling in an 18-month old teak plantation. The grasshopper, valanga nigricornis causes
sporadic defoliation and white grubs damage seedling in nurseries.
Teak is fairly resistant to diseases, although several pathogenic organisms have been recorded.
A few diseases affect young trees in taungnya stems, notably, an unidentified root wilt and stem
cancer, Corticum salmonicolor (pink disease).