Thursday, October 07, 2010

DA Exec Urges LGUs To Prohibit Catching Spiders

The Department of Agriculture (DA), Iloilo City, has urged local government units (LGUs) to pass an ordinance that prohibits and penalizes the catching and collecting of spiders.

DA regional executive director Larry Nacionales said that LGUs in rural areas, especially those that have large farmlands should protect their spider species and population as it is one of nature’s pest control mechanisms.

"The presence of spiders indicates that the farm has a healthy population of good insects such as dragon flies and lady bird beetles. Likewise, the numbers of rice pests such as brown plant hoppers are kept in check by spiders", Nacionales said.

The LGUs should consider banning spider fights and regulate its trading. The local council should make a move to penalize spider catchers in their towns, he added.

Wild and venomous species of spiders, often found in farm areas have been collected and sold in the city streets recently. It is used in spider fights and has become a sort of betting game, much like in the case of cock fights in communities.

The LGUs should also coordinate with their municipal agriculture office on how to protect spiders and its role as natural pest managers. They should protect natural predators such as spiders, Nacionales suggested.

A single wolf spider, for example can consume up to 25 adult brown plant hoppers in a day. Iloilo province is currently monitoring and addressing the threat of brown plant hoppers in some 20 towns already.

Brown plant hoppers suck the nutrient and sap of rice plants. It could destroy hectares of rice lands in just a few days before hopping to nearby rice lands. (PNA)

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