Locusts a spring threat

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Landholders are being warned to not be ‘‘caught on the hop’’ when it comes to locusts.

Murray Local Land Services pest animal coordinator John Nolan said because it has been a good season in many parts of the region, locust egg and nymphal survival rates are improved.

‘‘If locust eggs were laid in autumn, egg survival will be high due to favourable moisture levels, and hatchlings are likely to emerge in September or October,’’ he said.

‘‘Plague locusts are a serious agricultural pest and can explode in numbers over a short period.

‘‘Adult plague locusts usually like to lay eggs in harder loamy red soils, especially on compact roads next to crops, tree lines and farm buildings, especially those built on higher ground such as ridges.

‘‘Locust egg beds can be identified by a series of small holes in the earth, but they can be difficult to find. However, a reliable indicator of new hatchlings emerging is the presence of flocks of ibis, wood swallows, crows and other large birds, which like to feed on them.’’

If you see any indication of locusts hatching near you, report it to the LLS immediately.

Call the invasive species teams at Deniliquin on 5881 9900, Jerilderie on 5886 2100 or Albury on (02) 6051 2200.