Control of Desert Locusts

Posted on 2020-07-08
The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) is a species of locust, a periodically swarming, short-horned grasshopper in the family Acrididae. The locusts with a lifespan of 3-5 months, prefer to lay eggs in damp soil. They breed at a greater scale, laying as many as 1,000 eggs per square meters of soil when it rains heavily. Once they hatch and eat the vegetation around, they migrate in search of more food.


Damage to crops
Desert locusts are the most damaging breed, found in more than 60 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. FAO predicts up to a 50-70 percent cereal harvest loss if the locusts are out of control. Even in a best-case scenario, there could be up to a 30 percent loss of harvests. The previous large-scale locust attack took place between 2003 and 2005, resulting in US$2.5 billion in crop damage.


Survey and Forecast
Incubation survey: Survey incubation period and predict the appropriate control time.
Nymph survey: Survey nymphs and confirm where and when to make a treatment.
Survival Survey: Survey survival after treatment, so as to evaluate the effect and make a new treatment.


Natural Control methods:
(1) Build water conservancy to prevent drought and flood.
(2) Reclamation-planting to change the habitat of locusts, reduce eggs laying rate.
(3) Reduce the food source of locusts. Many locusts eat corn, wheat, sorghum, rice, millet, etc., but do not eat soybeans, alfalfa, fruit trees, etc. Therefore, planting soybeans, alfalfa, fruit trees and other forest trees in the places where locusts occur to control the locusts.


Chemical control
Control at peak period of young locusts. The following pesticides are recommended.
Malathion 50% EC: 1300-1300ml/ha.
Fipronil 5% SC: 150-200ml/ha.
Beta-cypermethrin 5% EW: 450-600ml/ha.
Flufenoxuron 5% DC: 150-180ml/ha.
Beta-cypermethrin 2% + Malathion 28% EC: 1200-1350ml/ha. above pesticides by airplane with ultra low volume spray when large-scale concentrated locusts swarm.