Australian plague locusts
based on the naturally occurring fungus Metarhizium, is a
biological pesticide which is effective against locust and grasshopper
pests. Spores of the fungus are suspended in oil and then applied
as an aerial spray to locust bands and swarms.
With the support
of the Australian Plague Locust Commission, Australia is the first
country to use Metarhizium against locusts. Green Guard® was
used to successfully treat over 23,000 ha in the 2000/1 season.
is an attractive alternative for locust control in Australia because
of the absence of environmental effects especially on aquatic organisms
and birds and it leaves no residues in meat or crops. It can be
used in organic beef areas and other areas where the use of chemical
pesticides is undesirable.
takes 10-14 days to kill a locust and thus is used more for preventative
control on organic properties and in environmentally sensitive areas
rather than for prevention of crop damage. Its cost is comparable
with that of chemical insecticides.
by: Australian Plague Locust Commission, Queensland Department
of Natural Resources, NSW Agriculture