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Locust update: watch for laying, check for eggs, be prepared for hatching

Central West Local Land Services is alerting landholders to monitor for locust laying and work with their local staff to prepare for outbreaks.

Over 300 landholders have alerted the organisation to locust activity this year. Reporting during March focused on localised egg laying, swarm movement and hatching.

Local Land Services is advising landholder to:

  • actively monitor for locust activity, particularly laying and hatching
  • inspect individual locust for eggs (break open and look)
  • report all activity to Local Land Services
  • report via their local office, calling 1300 795 299 or visiting www.lls.nsw.gov.au/centralwest

Central West Local Land Services will continue to work with the community to manage the issue. A short video update is available from https://youtu.be/zwYvaqzyqvg

The Baradine to Coonabarabran region is substantially higher for locust reports in the central west. Other areas experiencing heightened locust activity include Dubbo and Coonamble, with a number of reports also from the Forbes, Condobolin and Nyngan districts.

Coonamble is currently the area of most concern, according to Central West Local Land Services Senior Biosecurity Officer Rhett Robinson.

"There is a locust hotspot around the wider Coonabarabran region, with a large number of reports of egg laying," said Mr Robinson.

"There have also been reports of hatching and we've issued chemical in these instances to support local management. Landholders in active areas in particular should be paying attention to what is happening on their land and work with us to prepare for any outbreaks.

"The Mollyan area south of Coonabarabran has had significant evidence of egg beds which are viable and due to hatch this week.

"Sampling of egg beds has shown that around 20% will hatch. However conditions for nymph survival are low, with no green pasture available to sustain their livelihood.

"Monitoring of all areas is essential."

Locust swarms have followed summer storm patterns and have moved mainly to the east into Gulgong, Mudgee and Orange regions which have benefited from the summer storms.

"A large proportion of our region is experiencing dry and unfavourable conditions for laying," said Mr Robinson.

"However those areas which have had recent rainfall and some soil moisture will have laying."

There are adults of mixed species scattered across the bulk of the eastern sector from Weetalabah to Wellington which will have the potential to cause significant damage to emerging winter cereals.

Media contact:

Rod Campbell, Communications Officer 
0447 430 160 rodney.campbell@lls.nsw.gov.au