Warning - be vigilant amid reports of plague locusts

 Australian plague locust sightings have caused concern in central and western areas of the state. File photo. Western Local Land Services.
Australian plague locust sightings have caused concern in central and western areas of the state. File photo. Western Local Land Services.

SIGHTINGS of Australian plague locusts in past sof Western NSW has prompted the Western Local Land Services (WLLS) to encourage landholders to be on the lookout for and report any infestations.

Reports have been made in the Cobar and Nyngan region, and further east to Narromine.

The Australian plague locust is a damaging, recurrent insect pest of pastures and crops throughout Australia, that mostly occurs throughout central and western parts of NSW.

While there are numerous types of locusts and grasshoppers common at this time of year, landholders are advised to be aware of plague locust populations, and if they suspect they have plague locusts on their property, to report it immediately.

Close-up: Australian plague locusts.

Close-up: Australian plague locusts.

"Landholders play a critical role in reporting sightings of plague locusts and to continually monitor the situation on their properties," Senior Biosecurity Officer and Emergency Management Coordinator, Robynne Wells-Budd said.

"Monitoring what is happening on ground is key, so that coordinated control programs can be initiated when conditions are appropriate for managing their impacts

"It is highly important we get started on any control programs as early as possible to greatly reduce the likelihood of new hatchings which could lead to increased activity and populations in the coming spring."

Landholders that suspect Australian plague locusts, or have any other pest animal sightings to report, should contact their nearest biosecurity officer by completing an online enquiry form on the Local Land Services website www.lls.nsw.gov.au , by calling on 1300 795 299 or for those on Facebook, via Messenger.

How to identify a plague locust 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 hind leg 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 www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/locusts .

Australian Plague Locust Commission report

In New South Wales, adult numbers increased in the Central West and part of the Far West regions during March, following breeding in January and early February.

Locusts were reported from the Nyngan and Coonamble areas in early April, but subsequent heavy rainfall prevented access to those areas until mid- April.

Surveys identified medium density adults and several small swarms in the Nyngan-Hermidale area and medium densities in the Coonamble-Quambone area.

The autumn breeding population has increased to medium densities in parts of the Central West, Far West and Riverina regions. Locust numbers are expected to remain at low densities in other regions.

This story And now reports of plague locusts in western NSW first appeared on The Land.