Mangaluru: Swarm of locust spotted in pockets of Dakshina Kannada district has caused panic among farmers. However, department of Agriculture has allayed fear by clarifying that the creature found at Renjiladi in Kadaba and Shirlalu in Belthangady may not be the dreaded desert locusts.
The department has said that the locust found in Dakshina Kannada may be a variety of coloured grasshoppers and are not desert locusts that has unleashed havoc in several parts of India.
The local farmers had complained that a variety of locusts has infested the region and is harming the crops, following which the agriculture department forwarded the images of the locusts to entemologists, who have said that these may be 'calotropis locust' or coloured grasshoppers.
Th desert locusts arrive in large numbers, nearly lakhs of them. Massive swarms of desert locusts are destroying crops across western and central India, spearing into Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab now, after Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.
Even Karnataka has been alert after there were predictions that the locusts may enter the state through Maharashtra.
However, while the experts had opined that the locust attack is unlikely to happen in the state, a variety of locust-like creatures showing up in DK had become a cause of concern.
The agriculture department said that using neem based pesticides and crearting loud noise by beating drums etc can ward off these locusts to a very large extend.
Further, setting up fireplace near the fields, making sure there is smoke engulfing the farmland too can ward off the locusts.
Since these locusts rest in the night, pesticides can be sprayed using tractor mounted jet sprayers, while remaining cautious not to spray over water bodies.
The larvae of these creatures can be destroyed by collecting them and dumping them into a 2ftX3ft pit.
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