Spraying for Locusts - RFI

To: "Carl Clifford" <>,
Subject: Spraying for Locusts - RFI
From: "Colin R" <>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 14:21:32 +1000
Thanks Carl. I can understand the need and would really like to believe
there is 1. no choice and 2. minimal effect. I also appreciate that the
land left behind the swarm is de-nuded to a great extent, possibly
condemning the survivors to a death by starvation anyway. My concern is
for the flocks of birds - Woodswallows, Ibis, Raptors etc - that feed on
the locusts. Its a real shame some encouragement cannot be given to
providing for these species to increase their numbers so as to manage,
even if only partially, these eruptions when they occur. Maybe that
natural type solution is just not feasible. I guess its like trying to
increase the number of Letter-winged Kites to deal with the occasional
mice plagues. What do they eat when the plague is over? 
I can only hope the spray is both limited in duration and area and, as
you say, used 'as per the label'. 

Thank you to all who responded - happy to hear any other discussion for
those who have suggestions/opinions/experiences to share.



On Fri, 24 Sep 2010 13:28 +1000, "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
> Cheers,
> Carl Clifford
> On 24/09/2010, at 7:45 AM, Colin R wrote:
> Hi
> 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
> be....
> -- 
>   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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  Colin Reid
So many birds, so little time...... 

-- - Faster than the air-speed velocity of an
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