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Watch out for locusts!

Central West Local Land Services is encouraging landholders to be vigilant over the coming months for any locust activity on their properties.

Landholders are encouraged to report any locust activity on their properties after reports of locusts in areas around Nyngan, Tottenham, Trangie and the Warrumbungles. Early indications are that these probably blew in on the storms in late November and that some of them are already carrying eggs.

Senior Biosecurity Officer, Craig Ridley said the combination of warmer temperatures, green growth and wet ground, 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."

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. By monitoring and reporting locust presence at this time so we can gain a picture of densities, age and breeding capabilities which will assist in anticipating the response which may be required during summer and autumn”.

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

Landholders should report any locust activity to their nearest Local Land Services office. This will allow staff to carry out an inspection, advise on the relevant control options and issue chemical if warranted.

Central West Local Land Services will have equipment available to landholders and there are sufficient chemical stocks on hand to deal with a response.