Banding plague locusts detected in Tambar Springs area

Following the detection of banding plague locusts in the Tambar Springs area, landholders are urged to be on the lookout and report any sightings of Australian plague locusts to Local Land Services.

North West Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer Greg Lumbar said landholders are our eyes on the ground and by reporting locust activity early, it helps us build a picture of the situation.

“Reports are used to forecast locust movements, breeding, impacts and required control strategies,” Greg said.

“Plague locust outbreaks, if not controlled, can potentially cause significant damage to crops and pastures.

“Local Land Services biosecurity staff are trained in locust identification and control options, so if you think you’ve found signs of activity, reach out immediately.”

Local Land Services has pesticide available to issue to landholders to control banding locusts on their properties.

“On-ground treatment by landholders once locusts begin to ‘band’ is by far the best and most effective treatment option and will help limit new swarms,” Greg said.

“The ideal time to control locusts is approximately two to three weeks after hatching and before they start to fledge and form swarms.

LLS are expecting some level of plague locust activity over the summer period, following on from the outbreak last summer in the North West LLS region. Early control of banding locusts is critical to prevent broadscale damage to summer crops and pastures, and reduce the overall population for the coming months.

If you suspect Australian Plague Locusts, report it immediately to an Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer by calling 1300 795 299.

How to identify a plague locust

Young first instar nymphs are 3 mm long and generally whitish or pale. However, their colour can vary from pale brown to dark brown or black, with or without a white stripe along their first body segment just behind their head. Hatching nymphs can be seen emerging from egg beds under the soil.

Adults of the Australian plague locust can be readily distinguished from other species by the large dark spot on the tip of the hindwings and distinctive scarlet hindleg shanks.

Adult body colour is variable and can be grey, brown or green. Adult males measure 25-30 mm long while females are 30-42 mm long.

Further information can be found on the NSW DPI website.

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