Fact Sheet: Quick tips for small scale landholders
All landholders need to monitor their properties, report any activity to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) and be ready to spray when weather conditions are suitable and hoppers are gathered in thick bands on the ground.
Report locust hatchings to our Locust Hotline on 1300 135 559.
Note: This information is specifically for landholders that have small acreage containing lawns/grass and home gardens. It does not apply to any land that is used for agricultural production of any produce that sold, including livestock. Please refer to the relevant fact sheet for specific industry advice (www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/locusts for details) if you are an agricultural production property.
Is my small block of land at risk?
Victorian small scale landholders are potentially at high risk from locust attack. Newly hatched locusts can cause considerable damage and can consume half their body weight in food per day.
Locusts are ravenous feeders on fresh, green vegetation. Lawns, pastures, and home gardens - including fruit and vegetable plots - are all susceptible to locust damage.
When should I spray?
Warm, moist weather conditions are the most favourable for locust egg hatchings. Locusts are hard to spot when they first emerge as young immature locusts (called hoppers). They are only about 3mm long and pale in colour. The best time to spray locusts is in the second and third instar stage, after the eggs hatch and before they are able to fly.
At this stage they are wingless and form large, slow moving bands, providing a clear target for efficient chemical use. Spraying with insecticides at this stage is very effective and can significantly reduce locust numbers with the period of about two weeks after hatching (subject to temperatures) being the optimum treatment time..
The hopper stage will last for around six weeks in total, depending on temperature, but the third instar stage only lasts for a week or so, making it important to carry out regular monitoring. The best time of the day to spray hoppers is late morning through to late afternoon when they are most active
What can I use to treat my small block of land containing lawns/grass and home gardens?
If your land is primarily lawn/grass or home gardens (small vegetable gardens, fruit trees or ornamental gardens and flowers) you could consider using the following products for locust control that you can purchase from your local nursery or hardware store.
|Situation:||Product trade name (example):||Concentration:||Application Rate:||WHP (interval between spraying and picking produce):||Critical Comments:|
|LAWNS||Yates Confidor Lawn & Garden Insecticide||15g/L imidacloprid concentrate products (EXCLUDING 'hose-on' type products)||Apply 7ml per 100 square metres in 5 litres of water||Stonefruit - 21 days. Brassica, capsicum, eggplant, potatoes & sweet potatoes - 7 days. Tomatoes - 3 days. Cucurbits - 1 day.|
Spray leaves and foliage thoroughly when locust are causing significant damage. DO NOT spray as a preventive measure. DO NOT spray any food crops not included in this permit.
|Confidor Concentrate Insecticide||200g/L imidacloprid products||Apply 12 drops per 100 square meters in 5L of water|
|HOME GARDENS (ONLY incudes ornamentals, brassica, cucumber, capsicum, cucurbits, eggplant, potato, sweet potato , tomato & stonefruit)||Yates Confidor Lawn & Garden Insecticide||15g/L imidacloprid concentrate products (EXCLUDING 'hose-on' type products)||Mix 3.5ml in 1L of water|
|Confidor Concentrate Insecticide||200g/L imidacloprid products||Apply 6 drops per 1L of water|
|HOME GARDENS & NURSERIES (includes ornamental and flowers, vegetables, fruit trees & lawns)||Pharmachemical Maldison 50 Insecticide OR David Grays Malathion Garden Spray||500g/L maldison products||Apply at a rate of 20ml in 10L of water||For edible crops - 4 days||Application: Apply via hand held spray equipment to locusts when they appear and re-apply as required. DO NOT spray in enclosed environments, only spray in the open air. Areas to be sprayed MUST be vacated by all persons other than the person undertaking spraying. DO NOT apply using equipment carried on the back of the user.|
Re-entry: Garden beds, shrubs etc. - it is recommended that persons should not enter treated garden beds, shrub areas etc. until the spray has dried. Lawn areas - it is recommended that lawn areas sprayed not be re-entered until 12 hours after application.
Preparing and using the spray
Users MUST read and follow all current label directions prior to use, in particular that appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (as advised under the section titled "Safety Directions" on the relevant product label) is worn when preparing and using the spray.
To mix chemicals first ensure you are wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, then half fill your spraying equipment with clean water, ensure the product container is well shaken and add the required amount of chemical before adding the remaining water.
In general, from the moment you open the chemical container until you are finished spraying and have cleaned your equipment, you should wear cotton overalls buttoned to the neck and wrist, safety glasses, a washable hat and elbow-length chemical resistant gloves. You should wash hands and all clothing following use.
Users MUST also read and follow all label directions regarding product storage (as advised under the section titled "Storage & Disposal" on the relevant product label). In particular, note that products must be kept locked up and out of the reach of children.
What equipment should I use?
If you only need to treat a small area of locust hoppers you may be able to use either a small plastic compression sprayer or a hand operated backpack sprayer (note the Maldison products listed in the table above cannot be used with a backpack type sprayer). Either of these options are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at most nursery or hardware stores.
A small hand operated spray unit such as a powered sprayer that can be mounted on a vehicle, motorbike or slip on unit, may also be a viable application method for treating small bands of hoppers however you may not own the spray equipment needed to apply the chemicals required to treat locusts.
As it is mandatory to treat hoppers on your property, we suggest that you either speak to your neighbours and see if any surrounding landholders can assist you with this activity, or contact a licensed commercial operator who can apply the chemical for you (refer to www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/locusts for details).
If you have other locust affected small scale landholders surrounding your property, speak to your neighbours and see if you can all coordinate your spray activities to coincide during the same period of time. This will provide the most effective and efficient means of treating locusts.
Landholders should also be considerate of sensitive sites such as those occupied by organic farmers and beekeepers when undertaking spray activities.
All chemical use must be in accordance with State laws and regulations, including record keeping requirements. For more information visit the DEDJTR Chemical Standards website at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/chemicalstandards
What are my obligations?
The Australian Plague Locust has been declared an exotic pest under the Plant Health and Plant Products Act 1995, and this declaration places two important obligations on all land managers.
All landholders, including must notify DEDJTR of the presence of locust activity on their land. Notifications can be made by calling the Locust Hotline on 1300 135 559 or to our website at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/locusts.
All landholders must treat locust hoppers on their land when numbers reach or exceed 80 locust hoppers per square metre. This must be completed before locusts grow wings and are able to fly, and failure to notify or treat locusts is a breach under the legislation.
More information for Small Scale Landholders can be found in the industry fact sheet, Australian Plague Locusts and Small Scale Landholders, available on the DEDJTR website www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/locusts
This fact sheet contains information about registered agricultural chemical products that have exclusions, restrictions, or warnings associated with their uses. Such information is not included here.
DEDJTR on behalf of the State of Victoria and its employees does not expressly or impliedly endorse or recommend the chemical products referred to in this fact sheet.
The information has been supplied voluntarily and is not intended to represent a comprehensive list of chemical control options for locusts.
Land managers should undertake their own inquiries before using any chemical control options.
This information relates only to chemical use practices in Victoria. Land managers in other states should contact their own state government authority.
DEDJTR on behalf of the State of Victoria and its employees does not guarantee that the information provided is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence that may arise from you relying on any information in this fact sheet.
This document must not be reproduced except in its entirety.