A Plague of Locusts

| 1 Comment
Literally - as reported by CNN bq. CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- A plague of locusts has engulfed towns in Australia's Outback, devastating crops just as farmers had begun recovering from a two-year drought. bq. The bugs started breeding in northeastern Australia after it was swamped by heavy rainfall late last month, and quickly migrated south to feed on newly planted crops of oats and alfalfa, agriculture officials said Tuesday. bq. "A thick haze of them came through over the weekend and chomped their way through our oats crop overnight," said Bev Dennis from her farm in Tomingley, 340 miles west of Sydney. bq. The oats were intended for lambs, which have struggled for two years with little green grass to eat as vast tracts of Australia experienced their lowest levels of rainfall in a century. bq. "We were just staggering out of the drought -- we are incredibly frustrated," Dennis said. "I just kept on thinking it's got to get better, but now we've got this." Ouch - first a couple years of drought and now, when they finally get some rain, it triggers this outbreak. I wonder if the lambs can eat them -- they are high in protien...

1 Comment

Chickens eat them. It's one of their favorite foods. Smart grazers keep chickens around, and even move them through pastures in chicken wire enclosures open to the ground called "chicken tractors", because they eat so many bugs of all sorts. But chickens don't help much when a migrating swarm hits.

To control swarms a parasite, Nosema locustae, has been used. It must be spread every year to prevent swarms. Once a swarm has formed it's too late. It is spread in a mix with sweetened bran that some grasshoppers will eat and since they eat their own dead it spreads again and again.
Another parasite, Ageneotettix deorum, reduces egg laying but doesn't seem as effective as Nosema. The brightest hope seems to be Metarhizium anisopliae, a fungus developed in Nigeria. It is also expensive to use and takes 4-10 days to work, too long to save a crop but your neighbors may be grateful.

Many birds, amphibians and mammals eat grasshoppers and their egg pods. All of these biocontrol methods are useless against swarms that arive from distant places. When they come only strong pesticides will help and they are expensive to apply to large areas and contaminate everything.

August 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Environment and Climate
AccuWeather
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Audit
Climate Depot
Green Trust
ICECAP
Jennifer Marohasy
MetaEfficient
Planet Gore
Science and Public Policy Institute
Solar Cycle 24
Space Weather
Space Weather - Canada
the Air Vent
Tom Nelson
Watts Up With That?


Science and Medicine
Derek Lowe
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
Luboš Motl
Medgadget
New Scientist
Next Big Future
PhysOrg.com
Ptak Science Books
Science Blog


Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
FAIL Blog
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Neatorama
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF
TYWKIWDBI


Comics
Achewood
The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Dilbert
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
Tundra
User Friendly
Vexarr
What The Duck
Wondermark
xkcd


NO WAI! WTF?¿?¿
Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?


Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog


Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
DIYPhotography
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
PetaPixel
photo.net
Shorpy
Strobist
The Online Photographer


Blogrolling
A Western Heart
AMCGLTD.COM
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cobb
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Instapundit
iowahawk
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Neanderpundit
neo-neocon
Power Line
ProfessorBainbridge.com
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Samizdata.net
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Velociworld
Weasel Zippers
WILLisms.com
Wizbang


Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Allah
BigPictureSmallOffice
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
MegaPundit
Masamune
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Publicola
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on March 17, 2004 1:22 PM.

Demonstrations in Spain was the previous entry in this blog.

Muslim group threatens France is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Pages

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.2.9