Midsayap, North Cotabato- Several villages in Midsayap town in North Cotabato have been invaded by black bugs.
In Barangay Nes, black bugs damaged crops in the previous season, causing worry among farmers that the pests may affect their rice fields again.
Two days before the full moon, residents have prepared traps using a light bulb that they hang around 20 feet above the ground.
Black bugs get attracted to the light. Cesar Carcosia of the Midsayap Municipal Agriculture Office said the bugs lose their wings when they fly near the light bulb and fall to the ground.
Residents have swept the bugs and placed them in sacks.
A local official said the residents help each other in removing the black bugs that have accumulated on the ground.
The residents gathered more than 90 sacks filled with black bugs in the 2-day trapping activity.
For every 30 sacks of black bugs, the government will give the farmers a sack of rice.
The agriculture office of Midsayap has requested to the Department of Agriculture Regional Office to help the farmers on the black bug infestation.
Out of the 57 barangays in Midsayap, 35 villages are considered as irrigated areas.
These areas are most affected by black bugs that lay eggs on the planted rice.
The black bugs damaged around 80 to 85 percent of crops in the area in the previous season.