News and Views

Early control to combat yellow winged locusts

Biosecurity Queensland is encouraging landholders to be proactive in targeting locust nymphs following recent sightings of yellow-winged locusts in North Queensland.

Due to recent weather conditions, yellow-winged locust hatchlings have been spotted in the areas of Millaroo and Harvey’s Range.

Dr John Robertson, General Manager of Invasive Plants and Animals for Biosecurity Queensland, said yellow-winged locust populations could increase if breeding conditions were favourable.

“Over winter some yellow-winged locust eggs will have died off, however numbers start to rise when weather conditions are right, which is usually after significant rainfall in the spring and summer months,” Dr Robertson said.

“Yellow-winged locusts have impacted some crops and pastures in recent years which is why early control of nymphs is key to maximising results.

“Successful management of yellow-winged locust populations also relies on a collaborative community approach. Biosecurity Queensland is encouraging landholders to work together, to ensure numbers are properly managed.

“Landholders can do this by obtaining registered insecticide from local rural agents to use in conjunction with private equipment on their properties.

“Yellow-winged locusts are native insects that cause localised impacts, but are not prone to mass migration, which is why they are not restricted biosecurity matter (i.e. a declared pest) in Queensland.”

Yellow-winged locusts are generally found in coastal and subcoastal regions of Queensland in areas with rainfall greater than 500 millimetres. Yellow-winged locusts usually have bright yellow wings, hence the name, however can also vary in colour and body shape considerably, depending on population density. Adults range from 35 to 50 millimetres and make a distinctive clicking noise when in flight.

Biosecurity Queensland will continue to monitor the situation and advises landholders to remain vigilant in the control of yellow-winged locusts on their properties.

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