If you’re having problems with these destructive insects in your garden or farm, then it would be my pleasure to give you tips on how to get rid of locusts in homes, farms, and gardens.
Locusts are different from grasshoppers.
They are not your ordinary farm or garden pests. They are large insects and they attack in large numbers, leaving your crops in a less than desirable state.
How do you scare locusts away? Stay with me!
How To Control Locusts
The best way to stop a locust attack is to make sure you are adequately prepared for their arrival.
Because you’re not ready when they strike, then you’re going to lose a lot!
It is best to prepare for different forms of locust infestations. Let’s say you’re a farmer who experiences locust attacks every year, then it means you have a local population you need to deal with.
If you’re in an area where the activity is at a minimum but you still have traveling locusts coming towards your direction, then you need to take instant action to reduce the possible damage they will cause.
You will also need to take preventive actions that will stop them from establishing a population in your region.
Easier said than done though since locust treatments are extremely tough. The main reason for this is that adult locusts fly into a region and feast on as much vegetation as they can, then migrate to another location.
Do you see where the problem lies? Getting rid of insect pests that do not make your farmland or garden their home is quite tricky.
Don’t lose hope just yet, as many farmers have found major success in dealing with locust attacks.
Using chemical sprays on the plants or directly on the locusts has proven to be an effective method over the years. But you need to select the right chemical to get the job done effectively.
Before you buy a chemical insecticide and apply it to your crops, be sure it is safe to use on vegetation. Poisonous insecticides will kill the locusts, but they will also kill your plants.
You can consult a pest management professional to help you pick out the right pesticide that would be safe for your plants, but hazardous to the locusts.
There are safe pesticide granules you can apply to your garden turf during the end of the winter season or early in the spring. These granules can kill the baby locusts before they even get the chance to hatch from their eggs.
Doing this will surely reduce their presence in your garden, and when there is no developing activity, mature locusts won’t be lured to your garden, as there is no scent from the young ones to draw them in.
Locusts are tough creatures, they can also tolerate the cold and that is why they are one of the first insects to become active during the spring season.
With this information in mind, it is in your best interest as a farmer or gardener to prepare for their arrival, even in the coldest conditions where most insects would be inactive.
Being prepared early enough would spare you the agony of having to lose a significant amount of your crops to these cold-hearted pests.
Pesticide granules can be applied to flower beds, areas with green mulch, and the garden turf in general.
The good news is, chemical methods aren’t the only means by which you can get rid of locusts. There are other non-chemical approaches you can follow to solve your locust problems.
These include the following –
- Protecting the plants using insect mesh or non-green cloth (locusts are attracted to the color green)
- Picking them off the plants by hand (this is possible but very ineffective)
- Plant patches of tall grass away from your main crops to distract the locusts
How To Get Rid Of Locusts Organically
There are organic means by which you can fight off locusts. Let me list some of them out below.
Bring In Predators
What do small wildlife animals fear the most? Predators!
Introduce a few chickens and ducks in your garden so they can feast on the locusts as they come across them.
If you’re not a fan of the above-mentioned birds, then find a way to encourage other birds such as magpies to make your garden their home. They will help keep the locust population under control.
Predators are effective, but only against a small number of locusts. Burning on the other hand can drive off a swarm.
The smoke from burning branches is a major turn-off for them and they would avoid it as much as they can.
You can use pruned-off branches that are dead or decayed to light the fires. Make sure the fire is at a safe distance from the rest of your healthy plants so you won’t risk burning them all.
Handpick The Locusts
This method can be used when you come across a few locusts in your garden. It is not ideal for a swarm.
Simply lift them off your plants and crush them. You can also place them in a jar filled with water and drown them.
You may not want to make contact with the locust, but I bet others don’t mind. You can pay someone else to pick them off for you if you find the task too disgusting to do.
Plant Barriers Around The Targeted Plants
You can plant calendula or horehound around the locusts’ favorite plants. These can work too since locusts are irritated by them.
Use Garlic Oil
The plants you’re trying to save the locusts from can be sprayed with garlic oil. Locusts find the smell offensive and are repelled by it.
Neem oil can also be used alongside, or as an alternative to garlic oil.
Keep in mind that you have to reapply the oil regularly to prevent and kill already occurring locusts.
Keeping Locusts Away From Your Crops
The number of damage locusts can cause to a farmer’s crops is simply heart-breaking. They eat voraciously and their ability to fly makes the situation a lot worse.
Locusts are very active during the summer, which is the period where most crop harvests take place. You would want your crops to be spared of their destruction if not, you would’ve spent an entire year waiting for crops to grow in vain.
Things To Do To Prevent Locusts From Eating Your Crops
To protect your crops from locusts, the best bet is to call on a pest control professional, as they are in the best position to offer solutions.
If you’re not willing to part with any money for pest control services, then you have to handle them yourself.
Here’s what you can do –
Till The Soil
Female locusts are known to lay their eggs on the ground.
By tilling it regularly, or around areas where you suspect a nest of locust eggs, you will kill the eggs and they will not be able to produce more locusts.
Use All-Purpose Flour
If a locust tries to eat all-purpose flour, it will turn sticky and shut its mouths. A closed mouth can’t get fed!
Take an adequate amount of the flour you need and sprinkle it over the crops you are trying to protect.
Besides the locusts not being able to eat the flour-coated crops, it is also a safe, non-toxic method of getting rid of them.
Predator birds will hunt and eat as many locusts as they can find. This is one of the best means of keeping a small number of locusts away from your crops.
The more predator birds the better.
If you’ll be using chickens as the locust predators, then create a fence around the crops you want to protect and let them roam freely around those areas.
Chickens are experts in roaming around and finding their food, so this should work just fine.
If there is a pond around your farm, then introduce some frogs into it.
Frogs love eating insects, and locusts are a yummy delicacy for them any day.
How To Prevent Desert Locust Plagues
Desert locusts are regarded as the most dangerous traveling pests on Earth. They have an appetite that no other pest insect can match up to.
They also swarm in large numbers and are capable of destroying vast farmlands in a matter of minutes!
Early Warning System
Due to several desert locust plagues, a global early warning and preventive control system has been put in place.
This system has been in existence for over 50 years and it is the world’s oldest migratory pest warning system.
To find locust infestations, a team of experts gather intelligence from their scouting activities, and also from nomads.
They also use world-class satellite imagery to pinpoint areas of rainfall and green vegetation, as these are comfortable breeding conditions for locusts.
All observations are recorded and sent in real-time to their national locust center, as well as other relevant organizations.
To prevent a desert locust plague, regular and consistent observation in the desert is required, as well as an early warning and a swift response.
The nature of a locust makes it hard to deal with, thankfully several techniques have been discovered to curb their spread and their activities.
I hope this article on how to get rid of locusts has been helpful.