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Locust plagues

    33 responses

amanda starts with ...
Hi guys, I have never had to deal with a plague b4 :( Is it just a case of waiting for it to run it's course?

My trees are almost stripped (apricot in pic) I am treating as a free pruning service at this stage :-O ??
(bit tired of getting head butted by the damn things everytime I take a wander in the garden tho'....!?)

They won't actually kill my trees will they?
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amanda19
Gerladton. Mid West WA
13th February 2011 10:46pm
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snottiegobble says...
Hell Amanda, what next? We get one or 2 down here but never a swarm. What you must do is prune the tree down low & cover the new growth. The bare branches will only weaken it if you leave them & you will end up with a very spindly tree with all new growth at the top because deciduous trees dont like losing their leaves during summer.
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busselton ( smack in the middle)
14th February 2011 1:37am
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amanda says...
Thanks snottiegobble - I didn't know that. It's a bummer really as it's not a good time for them to get lush new growth (due to hot winds).
I should probably use some tree sunblock on the trunks/branches too - in case they get sunburnt now..?

Pruning can be such a dodgy affair in the heat of summer - I wonder if others find this too?
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amanda19
Gerladton. Mid West WA
14th February 2011 10:16am
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Jantina says...
We have only had one plague ever here, and they didn't affect the home orchard which I attribute to the free ranging chooks and in particular the free ranging guinea fowl (wonderful pest controllers)but in the back paddock they completely defoliated the olives (several hundred) and then proceeded to eat the green layer of bark (? cambium). Some trees were killed but most reshot from the roots, certainly not something you would want from any grafted trees. What a bummer amanda,there's nothing much nature can throw at you anymore is there( (maybe some bad frosts?).
Sounds like snottie may have the only good idea, those locusts are merciless.
I figure in your next garden you have earned the right to be pest and adverse weather event free. Good luck!
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Jantina
Mt Gambier
14th February 2011 11:02am
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snottiegobble says...
Too true Jantina, Amanda has certainly proved how resilient she is, but we are hoping she will come down south & enjoy the rest.
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busselton ( smack in the middle)
14th February 2011 12:00pm
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MaryT says...
Sorry to hear about the destruction the locust has done, Amanda - I think snottiegobble is right, you must move out of their way!
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MaryT
Sydney
14th February 2011 12:34pm
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ringelstrumpf says...
I have no idea of locusts, but would some Indian Runner ducks clear them up? They lay pretty well and are light, apparently they don't destroy as much and don't scratch. Can't locust be eaten too?
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ringelstrumpf1
Blue Mountains
14th February 2011 12:35pm
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amanda says...
Thanks guys...Jantina - I can't believe they even ate the bark! EEK! they have eaten all of the citrus trees - but haven't touched the mandarin trees though?... I am really interested to see if they remain untouched..? Wonder what they don't like about mandarin leaves? Maybe I should make a spray using macerated leaves...

I have some netting and stuff so will see if I can cover up the badly hit trees after a prune (that will teach me not to plant 80 odd fruit trees at next home..!) I'd get out there and catch n drown them but it's already 40c at noon now...yukk.

Last time I free ranged a chook the Staffy ate it ringelstrumpf...oops...
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amanda19
Gerladton. Mid West WA
14th February 2011 3:17pm
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Julie says...
Sorry to hear of your woes amanda. It just doesn't seem fair, after all your hard work. Hope the trees survive.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
14th February 2011 7:47pm
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amanda says...
Well, it's a "spur throated" locust and it's causing trouble all over the place. I found they are easy to grab (with gloves) at night time - by shining the torch in their eyes!

It doesn't look like they head down south :)
(plum tree pic)
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amanda19
Gerladton. Mid West WA
17th February 2011 1:47am
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Original Post was last edited: 17th February 2011 1:48am
Jason says...
Amanda I'm sure your trees will survive if it's just the leaves, I've had plenty of stone fruit trees 100% defoliated from Kangaroos, sometimes for 2-3 years in a row starting in early spring and having no leaves pretty much all season, they get weaker each year but as soon as you get a year where they are left alone they get stronger again. But next year might be a bit lean on fruit for you
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Jason
Portland
17th February 2011 1:35pm
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amanda says...
Thanks Jason - that's heartening to hear! :) I have pruned them back and chucked anything I could get my hands on over the worst affected - just to keep them shaded and maybe put the 'hoppers off a little.

It's not a common event (so the gurus say) - they move around with the tropical lows - and we have had plenty of them! The only treatments are things like carabyl... :( (pass..)

Lucky I always buy up the net curtains at Op shops etc..!
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amanda19
Gerladton. Mid West WA
17th February 2011 2:50pm
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snottiegobble says...
Talking of net curtains Amanda, you would have loved to see our Op shop four poster bed mozzie net suspended over a grape vine in Vic.to keep out the birds. At least we dont have blackbirds in WA ( worst offender for pinching grapes)
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busselton ( smack in the middle)
17th February 2011 3:29pm
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amanda says...
LOL! Good idea S.G! I should have stocked up in Bali! Hopefully cyclone Dianne will suck them all out to sea :)

My grape season was miserable this year :( The birds still mananged to get to them thru the bird net. Ah well - such are the challenges of gardening hey.
(Kurrajongs will steal them though!)
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amanda19
Gerladton. Mid West WA
17th February 2011 5:53pm
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Jantina says...
Amanda it's probably too late for your grapes this year, but after fighting the good fight against " feathered thieves" (as Glowinski calls them,)and losing each time I found these nifty bags at GreenHarvest. They are made of some semi opaque material, not paper and not fabric, that the air can pass thru but that totally protects the bunches from the birds (there's no holes for beaks). they weren't expensive and all my grapes are ripening in peace. Just google GreenHarvest and check out their pest control dept.
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Jantina
Mt Gambier
18th February 2011 9:58am
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snottiegobble says...
Good people at Green Harvest. They used to buy organic ocas & scarlet runners from me in bulk!
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busselton ( smack in the middle)
18th February 2011 11:09am
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amanda says...
Thanks for the info Jantina :)
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amanda19
Gerladton. Mid West WA
18th February 2011 5:31pm
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amanda says...
OMG! we woke up to PUDDLES this morning!! A real novelty for my 7yr old to get her gumboots on and splash! Yay!

Maybe this will see those pesky locusts off..
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amanda19
Gerladton. Mid West WA
19th February 2011 12:07pm
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snottiegobble says...
Hope you are still seeing puddles Amanda. Down here its sun,sun,sun & a daily average of 33 degrees. The novelty is wearing off somewhat!
We would like just a tiny bit of Carlos just to dampen things down a little!
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snottiegobble
 
21st February 2011 1:40pm
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amanda says...
No S.Gobble - but still happy with 40mm. I am finding it really interesting to see cyclones coming this far south? Surprised to see "Dianne" still a Cat 1 @ the 30th parallel...didn't think the water that warm enough...glad we are tucked around the corner so far...
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amanda19
Gerladton. Mid West WA
22nd February 2011 4:38am
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amanda says...
Yay! the locusts have decided to move on...and literally thousands of dragonflies have taken over! :) Nature moves in mysterious ways....

The rain has inspired me to get out and start getting the veg patch ready for the autumn planting. I feel like I have come alive with the rain too! :)))
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mid West WA.
23rd February 2011 5:15pm
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Jantina says...
Go amanda!
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Jantina
Mt Gambier
23rd February 2011 11:15pm
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kert says...
Amanda, Did you ask the locusts for a commitment?
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sydney
24th February 2011 8:46am
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snottiegobble says...
Funny you mentioned the dragonflies, Amanda, we came home from Busso through a continuous swarm along the beach road shaded by peppermints. They have such good eyesight & flying ability I am sure we didnt hit any either. Must have been a big hatch in the wetlands.
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso (smack in the middle)
24th February 2011 2:13pm
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amanda says...
Hey kert - no - I used a unique method to keep them scared of coming back. A few of these reminders around the place... :-O

Snottie - these drangonflies have me stumped - I can't work out where they come from and then where they go back to when they are not here....they come and go so fast..
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mid West WA.
24th February 2011 6:32pm
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micarle says...
Ha Ha Ha!!!!!! Classic!!!
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micarle
Kurrajong Heights, NSW
24th February 2011 7:21pm
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snottiegobble says...
Amanda did your ancestors live in Borneo by any chance? :) lol.
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso (smack in the middle)
25th February 2011 2:18pm
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Charles cant spell says...
Next cyclone is brewing you might get more rain yet Amanda.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
26th February 2011 3:27pm
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amanda says...
Fingers X'd! I just couldn't wait for autumn any longer - so last night (yes night - as it's the only cool time lately) I dug up a prime spot that had ornamentals - and put in a Herb n Salad bowl garden. It's sheltered and there is a shade sail.

It was like getting a drug fix being able to buy seedlings and plant them! LOL!
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mid West WA.
26th February 2011 6:12pm
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Brendan says...
Gee amanda, you are jumping the gun, but with all that mulch and worm juice (from the worm farm in the background), you should have a win! Good luck!

I'm still preparing my beds, and our 'wet season' isn't over yet :-(
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
27th February 2011 7:58am
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amanda says...
Ta Brendan - I have some large sliding door flywires (slavaged) - and this morning I am going to put a "roof" over them with shade cloth also...

We are in the midst of a fairly long hot spell that reminds me very much of the "build-up" to the northern Wet....

Sounds like you need a "roofed" plot too!? maybe polycarbonate sheeting :)
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mid West WA.
27th February 2011 10:17am
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amanda says...
Just for interest sake: the 4 plum trees that got stripped bare - are now in full flower...
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mid West WA
8th March 2011 7:46pm
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Julie says...
amanda, re your post of February 23rd - I just came cross someone on another forum (not gardening) who had a locust plague followed by hordes of dragonflies. Wonder what that's all about?
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Julie
Roleystone WA
22nd March 2011 9:07pm
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Jason says...
I actually got a few locust here just last week, but they are buggered now that it's cooled down. I'm finding them laying around too sluggish to even walk/fly. It doesn't seem like they ate anything
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Jason13
Portland
22nd March 2011 10:23pm
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