The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, during a pest abatement exercise embarked by its County Victoria staff on November 10, detected three separate Moruga locust (Coscineuta virens) egg-beds in the Tableland area.
These discoveries were as a result of the efforts of a joint team of staff from the Ministry’s St Patrick East; Victoria; Nariva / Mayaro and Caroni Counties, who visited each of the three (3) sites as part of their practical locust training session on Tuesday. Training, facilitated by Agricultural Assistant III (with direct responsibility for the Locust Control Programme in County Victoria) Rudy Ramdass, targeted 40 staff involved in the operational elements of locust management inclusive of monitoring, tracking and chemical control.
The egg-bed finds, according to Ramdass, represents a positive sign in the Ministry’s efforts toward the effective control of locust populations in the area. He said “traditionally, egg beds are much harder to find as they tend to be isolated in highly forested areas and are only revealed after they emerge in the hopper stage.”
He added that it was strategic that the Ministry’s resources be heavily invested at this critical juncture since “during the egg-bed stage, we can potentially kill thousands of locusts per square metre as opposed to hundreds in the emerging and hopping stage and as few as ten (10) locusts per square metre during the adult stage.” Ramdass noted too that because the area was not traditionally a locust-populated site, any proactive measure aimed at limiting the geographical spread of the pest was to be explored and welcomed.