Residents of Coonabarabran and local areas are reporting large swarms of locusts covering many square kilometres. The Department of Primary Industries predicted a moderate overall increase in the local adult population for 2015. Coonabarabran landowners have a legal responsibility to report any locust activity to the Local Land Service.

The LLS released this press release yesterday

Central West Local Land Services is encouraging landholders to be vigilant about reporting locust activity on their properties after a recent outbreak of locusts in the Gilgandra, Armatree, Curban, Collie and Tooraweenah areas.

Senior Biosecurity Officer, Craig Ridley said the combination of warmer temperatures, green growth and wet ground, due to rainfall over the Christmas period, has provided favourable conditions for eggs to hatch, increasing locust numbers.

“Locusts are a very smart insect as they take advantage of the weather and soil conditions to ensure their survival,” Mr Ridley said

“Recent rainfall has provided favourable conditions for the locusts to hatch.  With the abundance of green feed available, survival of the locust nymph is enhanced which leads to bands forming within two weeks.”

Team Leader Invasive Species and Plant Health, Lisa Thomas, said it is critical that landholders report any locust sightings so that they can be identified and treated before they mature and take flight.

“If landholders have seen locusts on their property prior to Christmas, they should inspect those areas, as any eggs laid then will be hatching now,” Ms Thomas said

“If left untreated, these locusts could have a major impact on summer pasture and crops which will impact on a producer’s bottom line.”

Ms Thomas said the first step is for landholders to report any sightings at their nearest Local Land Services office or complete the online reporting form available on our website www.lls.nsw.gov.au/centralwest

“Reporting sightings will allow staff to carry out an inspection, provide advice on the relevant control options and issue chemical if warranted,” Ms Thomas said

“We also have some equipment available to help landholders such as boom jets and misters.”

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