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Phongsaly residents wage war on locust invasion

Authorities and local people in Phongsaly province are attempting to prevent a locust invasion by searching for and removing their eggs in a bid to forestall the spread of the crop pests.
Locust eggs have already been found in 181 places in 115 villages.
The Deputy Director of Phongsaly’s Agriculture and Forestry Department, Mr Visan Vongnakhone, told Vientiane Times that this is the fourth year the province has been hit by yellow-spined bamboo locusts.
This year, locust eggs have been found in all districts of the province, namely Phongsaly, May, Khua, Samphan, Bounneua, Nhot-ou, and Bountay.
Officials and villagers have been digging for egg cases in order to get rid of the pests, Mr Visan said.
Authorities are surveying locust outbreak areas and planning to dig for eggs and spray them with insecticide.
Phongsaly recently signed an agreement with Chinese authorities on the procurement of insecticides and equipment to destroy the pests, he said.
Last year, swarms of yellow-spined bamboo locusts moved south across the border into Phonsaly province, where more than 2,000 hectares of dry season rice and other crops were affected by the insects.
Every year, locusts appear in the northern provinces, mainly Luang Prabang, Huaphan, Xieng Khuang and Oudomxay, where many hectares of crops have been damaged.
Locusts were first detected in Laos in October 2014 in Phonthong district, Luang Prabang province, before spreading to other areas, including Huaphan and Phongsaly provinces.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), this locust species normally emerges in April as it hatches from the previous year’s eggs laid in the ground, then feeds and grows for up to four months before developing wings as it reaches adulthood. The adults mate, lay their eggs in August and then die.

 

By Phomphong Laoin
(Latest Update
March 5,
2021)


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