News & Media

Locust check urged for Central Agriculture Region

Released on

Released on:
Thursday, 9. May 2013 - 10:15

Landholders in the Central Agricultural Region have been encouraged to monitor their paddocks for Australian plague locusts (APL), after a recent survey revealed relatively high numbers of adult and nymphs.

Surveys conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Food found higher locust numbers where there has been a ‘green bridge’ due to summer rainfall, while low numbers of locusts were detected in the Northern and Southern Agricultural Regions.

There have also been scattered reports of locusts damaging early germinating cereal and canola crops in the eastern wheatbelt area.

Department research officer Svetlana Micic said at this time of year very few adult locusts were expected.

However, Ms Micic said unusually warm weather – especially in the Central Agricultural Region – had increased survival of adult locusts and late hatched nymphs.

“If you have had locusts present on your property before seeding, it would be advisable to monitoring germinating crops and undertake control measures if necessary,” she said.

“When cooler conditions do occur, numbers of APL adults will decrease. However, cold conditions will not necessarily kill late hatched nymphs, so control measures may still be required.”

Ms Micic said growers should monitor bare areas with compacted soil, where females prefer to lay eggs.

“If properties had adult APL present on them in autumn it is likely females laid eggs,” Ms Micic said.

“If you didn’t see locusts laying eggs but you noticed high numbers of APL, it could be worthwhile to look for egg beds on your property and monitor these in spring.”

The department will continue its monitoring program and modelling to predict locust hatching for the coming spring.

The timing of any spring hatchings will depend on rainfall and temperature, with further modelling required to estimate the time of peak egg hatching.

For more information about Australian plague locusts and control options search for ‘locust’ on the department’s website


Media contact:  Jodie Thomson, media liaison  +61 (0)8 9368 3937