Australian plague locusts have been spotted in Victoria's west and north-west, leading Agriculture Victoria to undertake targeted surveillance programs in a bid to control the pests.
Victorian Plague Locust Commissioner Dr Kyla Finlay said spring's heavy rainfall had provided plentiful green feed, which provided ideal conditions for locusts to breed.
"It's important to understand where the populations are and what stage of development they are at so government, industry and community can work together to effectively treat and curtail the populations," Dr Finlay said.
Australian plague locust can be identified by the large dark spot on the top of the hindwing and the distinctive red shanks on the hind legs.
Their body colour varies and can be grey, brown or green.
Adult males are 25 to 30 millimetres long, while females are 30-45mm long.
The native Australian insects can reach high population levels under ideal conditions and pose a threat to pastures, crops and horticulture.
Dr Finlay said there is no locust plague or predicted plague in Victoria, but now is a good time to spray young hoppers to limit the population's growth.
"If you've got locusts on your property, be proactive in carrying out control as that will help reduce the populations for next year," she said.
Various insecticide products are registered for controlling locusts.
Expert advice is available from a chemical reseller or agronomist, with all chemicals to be used in accordance with Victorian legislation.
For more information and to report sightings of Australian plague locusts, call Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/locusts
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The story Locusts spotted in the west as targeted surveillance commenced first appeared on The Wimmera Mail-Times.