Steps to counter locust attack

October 01, 2005

Email

MULTAN, Sept 30: Federal agricultural ministry’s department of plant protection has initiated measures to check the looming threat of ‘locust attack’ in the country.

The DPP authorities received information that the locust had started reaching Pakistan from India near the Cholistan desert where recent rains had made the atmosphere conducive for their proliferation.

It may be added here that entomologists believe that soaked soft surface of the deserts becomes an ideal place for locusts to lay eggs, which they usually inject eight inches under the ground.

The colonies of locust were identified in 180km of Bahawalpur in a part of Cholistan adjacent to the Indian border. DPP director-general Rashid Bashir Mazari led a team to the troubled spot on Thursday and supervised spraying of insecticides to stamp out the menace.

Talking to Dawn here on Friday, he said the locust population was observed in two or three patches in Cholistan where their males and females were also seen meting in a large number. He said the vegetation had been eaten out by the locust at the patches where its attack was noticed.

Mr Mazari said as the aerial spray alongside the border was not possible, the spraying teams were carrying out the task conventionally. He said the locust proliferated within no time, and it was believed that about two billion locusts lived in an area of one square kilometre.

Each of them ate two grams of meal daily which mainly consisted on plants of every kind.