Spraying for Locusts - RFI

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Spraying for Locusts - RFI
From: Laurie Knight <>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 14:12:52 +1000
you can see the abstract for one study at


On 24/09/2010, at 1:28 PM, Carl Clifford wrote:

Colin, et al,

I know what the side effects of not spraying would do. A full on uncontrolled plague is amazing to watch and walk amongst. I still have my olive coloured work trousers with the little holes in the lower legs, left behind by the little blighters when I walked through an area which was just a carpet of locusts. Once that "must- eat-green" gene kicks in, it is amazing what they will eat, right down to green paint.

I have rung a mate in NSW Ag, in Dubbo, and asked what was being used for PL control in this outbreak and it is Fenitrothion (if anyone wants the MSDSs for it, my mate has sent me copies and I would be happy to forward them on. Fenitrothion is very effective in invertebrates and there have been lots of field trials in the various states over the years, even deliberately spraying stock and the pasture they consumed, and it has been determined to be the safest for use in this sutuation, as long as it is applied as per label. The weakest link in this application of Fenitrothion is the operator who is applying the spray. The aerial spray operators that are around these days, as the GFC and the drought has sorted them out.

What the long term effects are, who knows? Come back in a 1,00 years is probably the best answer. That's if there are any H. saps left in 1,00 years to do the research.

It is not only the effects on the rural sector which prompts control programs such as that those underway, the native flora and fauna suffer as well. the ground behind a swarm whose eat-green switches have tripped leave virtually no vegetation or floral parts behind, this not only affects the plant feeding birds but the insectivores, as the insects food sources have gone. Plague Locust control unfortunately is not an area where there are much in the way of win- win scenarios, it is, unfortunately, a matter of choosing the course of less risk.

I unfortunately have not been able to quickly find any research on any adverse effects on birds that consume PLs that have been killed by Fenitrothion. If anyone out there has the results of any research on these effects, I would be interested in the details, as would my mate in Dubbo ( he is a part-time with a 6 year old twitcher for a son


Carl Clifford

On 24/09/2010, at 7:45 AM, Colin R wrote:

Does anyone have any idea of the impact of spraying thousands of litres of poison on 6 trillion grasshoppers? Should we be concerned? It maybe a
really naive question to which the only answer may be "of course we
freaking should be!!" but I'm curious - does anyone know anything about
the chemicals that will/are being used? Everyone seems to be casually
planning this but there doesn't seem to be any opinions re any possible
damage to the environment or the wildlife. I know the farmers are God
Almighty here and the economy certainly would take a hit if the crops
were decimated, but I'd be interested to know what the 'side effect'
damage might

Colin Reid

So many birds, so little time......

-- - Does exactly what it says on the tin
Colin Reid

So many birds, so little time......

-- - The way an email service should be


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