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Watch out for locusts

Thursday, 15th January, 2015

Masses of locusts on the Willyama High School oval during a swarm in  2010. Masses of locusts on the Willyama High School oval during a swarm in 2010.

While recent wet weather has been a godsend for many people on the land, it unfortunately also creates perfect conditions for locusts.

Local Land Services Western Region is encouraging landholders to be vigilant about reporting locust activity on their properties after recent sightings in the Broken Hill, Tibooburra and Wilcannia areas.

Biosecurity Officer Tim Wall said the combination of warmer temperatures, green growth and wet ground had provided favourable conditions for eggs to hatch.

“Locusts are a very smart insect as they take advantage of the weather and soil conditions to ensure their survival and we are expecting an increase in locust numbers in coming weeks,” Mr Wall said.

“With the recent rainfall over the Christmas and new year period and the abundance of green feed available, there is a higher chance of the locust nymph surviving.”

Mr Wall said it was critical for landholders to report any locust sightings so that they can be identified and treated before they mature and take flight.

“If landholders saw locusts on their property before Christmas, they should inspect those areas, as any eggs laid then will be hatching now.

“This is particularly important in the Broken Hill and Tibooburra areas, where we recorded sightings in late spring, as well as towards Wilcannia.

“If left untreated, these locusts could have a major impact on summer pastures and crops and the effect will be on a producer’s bottom line.”

Mr Wall said the first step is for landholders to report any sightings at their nearest Local Land Services Western Region office.

“Reporting sightings will allow staff to carry out an inspection, provide advice on the relevant control options and issue chemical if warranted,” Mr Wall said.

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