Mangalore: The Department of Horticulture here has developed a parasite in its laboratory at nearby Thumbe to fight the menace caused by caterpillars, a senior official said.
The parasite called `Goniozus Nephantidis` is widely used by the department in various other districts to fight the growing threat of black-headed hairy caterpillars on coconut palms.
The parasite is being introduced here to fight the menace caused by caterpillars, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Dakshina Kannada, Yogesh H R, said in a statement here.
Though the infection did not destroy the trees, the yield from the trees was severely affected, he said.
Ten to 20 of the parasites which would be left at the bottom of a tree would climb up in search of caterpillars, eat them and move on to the next tree.
The department would take steps to develop nine lakh parasites at an estimated cost of Rs 2.5 lakh at its laboratory in the current financial year.
The parasites now developed would be given to farmers free of cost, he said.