November 18, 2018

Locust Plague in Australia worst in 75 years

On my own I am kind of cute eh? Shame about the billions of others just like me coming to a town near you. Mmmm nice crops.

An expected plague of locusts this Spring in Victoria, Australia might destroy $2 Billion of crops and shut down iconic events like the Melbourne Cup.

Victoria Premier John Brumby said yesterday that ”This is the biggest plague that we have faced in 75 years – it has got the potential to destroy a quarter of our agricultural crops.”

Mr Brumby has declared a ”war on locusts”. This is a refreshing change from a “war on terror”. At least the insects will get nuked in this one and not people.

Victorian authorites and farmers are gearing up to blast the hoppers when they start to form dense bands for what the say is “maximum effectiveness.” This all sounds more like a household cleaning product advert.

The Governement is investing A$43.5 million in anti-locust activities to assist those on the ground to counter the insect threat. If they filmed it all and turned it into a B Grade horror movie they would probably make a tidy profit – ‘Invasion of the killer locusts’. All they need is some unknown actors to get chomped in close-up and a non-existent plot.

Killer Locust 3D is probably a step too far though. No one likes looking at insects close-up (except entomologists) especially when they look like they are crawling up your nostrils in the movie theatre.

The plague in waiting has been caused by heavy summer rainfall in north-west New South Wales and south-west Queensland which caused a bloom of native vegetation, a fertile breeding ground for locusts, which then headed south to lay eggs.

It is estimated that the egg beds are spread over an area the size of Spain. Good old ‘Spain’, they are second only to ‘football fields’ as a media measurement tool for us simple minded masses who can’t cope with numbers.

The main hope is that there is a lot of rain in the Spring so the locusts will hang around where they are and eat up large. This will make the people of Melbourne happy but the farmers will not like watching their crops get scoffed by greedy insects. Might need more than a can of ‘Black Flag’ to deal with this lot.