Murray landholders asked to watch for locusts and report

With much grass and vegetation available this season, Local Land Services is urging landholders to be on the lookout for locust activity and report any sightings immediately.

Locust activity has been slowly ramping up across the Murray, with some banding already observed, said Murray Local Land Services Team Leader, Peter O'Shannassy.

“We’re urging landholders to be vigilant and report any banding and swarming to their Local Land Services office,” Mr O’Shannassy said.

“Our staff and local farmers have already started spraying in the Savernake, Rennie and Mulwala areas following sightings of bands reported by the community.”

Bands are small at this stage and likely hard to see due to the amount of vegetation in paddocks, however reporting is essential to manage the issue.

“We expect Murray will have locusts at all stages, from hatching to laying adults, scattered across much of the district,” Mr O’Shannassy said.

“However, they are generally not being detected until they cross open ground, like roads.”

Controlling banding locusts now will help reduce their impact later in the year.

If not controlled, plague locusts can cause significant damage to crops and pastures by consuming all in their path.

“Bands are there now to be controlled, which will help lessen their impact on emerging crops in the autumn,” Mr O’Shannassy said.

“This is why community reporting is essential —reports are used to forecast locust movements, breeding, impacts and required control strategies.”

Local Land Services biosecurity staff are trained in the identification of locust biology and control, and available to help landholders implement control measures with advice and pesticides

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

If you suspect Australian plague locusts, please contact your nearest Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299.

To find out more about the Australian plague locust and how to manage it, visit

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