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Serious infestations of plague locusts cause significant economic loss to affected landholders. Under the Local Land Services Act 2013 landholders have a legal obligation to report any of the three declared plague locust species (Australian Plague, Spur-throated and Migratory locusts) to their Local Land Services office. Landholders also have an obligation to eradicate locusts on their property.

Landholders should report any activity to Local Land Services via phone, email or in person.

Pest insect control

Local Land Services biosecurity officers can advise on control/eradication methods available and provide insecticide to ratepayers where pest insects are in significant abundance to effectively carry out control.

It is vital that ground-control activities for locusts are carried out at the banding stage (3rd instar) not only to save time and reduce the need for a second spray for later hatching locusts, but to reduce the risk of residue concerns associated with the chemical application. It is also vital that the situation is monitored closely prior to and following any control activities.

Spur-throated locusts

The spur-throated locust is much larger than the Australian plague locust and doesn't normally reach plague proportions in NSW. If not controlled, it has the potential to cause significant damage to crops and pasture this autumn and winter.

Nymphs are generally scattered and can be located on green pasture and crops. Adults can be found either roosting in trees overnight, especially during winter, or in adjacent pasture/crops during the day.

Control methods

A number of pesticides are registered for the control of spur-throated locusts. Your Local Land Services biosecurity officer can distribute chemical to eligible landholders, where there is confirmed locust activity and infestation benchmarks have been met. All control should be undertaken as per the label or off label permit instructions.

Nymph control of spur-throated locusts is generally not economically viable except in high-value crops. The nymphs do not band together like the plague locust nymphs, making them more difficult to control.

Effective control of swarms is mostly done by aerial spraying, targeted at juvenile adults while roosting in the evening or early morning.

 More information on spur-throated locusts

Read or download the NSW Department of Primary Industries primefact