Last year, I wrote about how the papaya mealybug had invaded our garden and was killing my plants. Well, in all fairness, not just my plants, but plants belonging to our neighbors and all sorts of people around the island. Papaya mealybug is invasive and has killed entire crops all over South Asia.
The papaya mealybug is an import from Mexico, if I recall correctly, and as such, it has no natural predators here. But in Mexico, it does have a predator, a wasp. The Sri Lankan government imported that wasp around the middle of last year, and the news reports said they estimated it would take six months to a year before the wasp had spread all over the island.
That wasp isn’t in my garden yet – my plants are still affected by it. Luckily, only my lime tree died. Most other plants survived my extensive clipping, but the lime tree was so badly infected that, despite clipping infected foliage several times, it still died. Other bugs invaded and finished the job.
Meanwhile, my jasmine is still alive and kicking. Still infected, but not as badly as before. But then, it also doesn’t have even half the foliage it had just a year ago. Nevertheless, it’s healthy enough that it’s blooming, and boy, is it blooming!