First bushfires, then coronavirus, now this: Victoria is attacked by a swarm of LOCUSTS as the pests obliterate crops and blind motorists
- Victorians are urged to be on the look out for locusts following spring rainfall
- Wet weather has meant an increase in greenery for locusts to feed and breed
- Victorians told to seek help in order to properly exterminate the pests
Swarms of plague locusts have hit Victoria after spring rain storms provided perfect conditions for the pests to breed.
Agriculture Victoria said residents people should be on the look out for locusts after sightings in the states west and north-west.
The locusts are not an issue on their own but when they swarm they have the potential to blind drivers’s vision and destroy farm crops.
Victoria is experiencing an uptick in the amount of plague locusts following a series of spring rain storms making it perfect for the pests to breed (stock)
The Australian plague locust are typically found in Queensland but heavy rainfall in recent months has increased vegetation for them to feed on and breed.
‘It’s important to understand where the populations are and what stage of development they are at so government, industry and community can work together to effectively treat and curtail the populations,’ Victorian Plague Locust Commissioner Dr Kyla Finlay said,
‘Locusts can feed on fresh, green plants and, when present in large numbers, causing damage to pastures, horticultural crops, gardens, parks and sporting grounds.’
AUSTRALIAN PLAGUE LOCUST
- Large dark spot on the tip of the hindwing
- Red shanks on the hind legs
- Body colour varies from grey, brown or green
- Adult males are 25–30 mm long
- Adult females are 30–45 mm long
Agriculture Victoria will initiate targeted surveillance to help landowners make decisions regarding locusts.
Dr Finlay said it was a good time to spray locusts who were about eight to 12mm in length.
‘If you’ve got locusts on your property, be proactive in carrying out control as that will help reduce the populations for next year,’ she said.
‘It becomes more difficult to manage populations as they become adults.’
Various insecticide products are registered to use for controlling locusts.
Landowners are urged to seek expert advice on how to remove locusts from their property.
‘Safe and responsible use of chemicals is crucial – identify the most appropriate chemical for your situation, read the label on the product you are going to use and comply with the directions on the label,’ Dr Finlay said.
Australian plague locusts on their own are not an issue – but when they swarm they have the potential to blind drivers’s vision and destroy farm crops (example of locust swarm)