It has been reported that one of Cyprus’ favourite fruit, Opuntia (Papoutsosuko) also known as (prickly pear) are becoming extinct in North Cyprus due to cochineal disease.
Various methods have been tried to tackle the disease, which was first detected in Maraş (Varosha) many years ago, but with no outcome.
According to Kıbrıs news, prickly pears (Papoutsosuko) in Güzelyurt (Morphou) are under threat as the cochineal infestation which began in Maraş (Varosha) has now reached Gönyeli (Kioneli). It is feared that the cacti in Güzelyurt (Morphou) will dry up and die.
The Head of the Chamber of Agricultural Engineers Erkut Uluçam said that cochineal infestation is a very harmful insect. He added that insecticide treatments had begun swiftly as the disease was detected in Maraş (Varosha) but the spread of the disease in Gönyeli (Kioneli) could not be prevented even with chemicals.
“In Isreal, this harmful insect is eliminated with a beneficial bug. This beneficial insect is a ladybug. If this insect can be imported to our country, it can be used to tackle the cochineal infestation which is causing a threat to our trees.