Dry season rice and crops in Phongsaly province have been destroyed by yellow-spined bamboo locusts, which have arrived in plague proportions.
Nearly five hectares of dry season rice and other crops have been damaged by the locusts, with authorities in the province working hard to fight the insect plague.
Eggs have been found in many districts in Phongsaly, with particularly dense contamination in May district, where eggs were found at 34 sites, according to Deputy Director of Phongsaly’s Agriculture and Forestry Department, Mr. Visan Vongnakhone, in a statement to the press.
Villagers have been provided with insecticide to spray the affected areas, and some villagers are removing locust eggs by digging them up.
The damage caused by the locusts is estimated to reach LAK 24,885,000.
According to a report in the Vientiane Times, locusts were first found in 2014 in 140 locations, expanding to 500 locations by 2015. In 2016 locusts were found in 640 locations in 23 districts among the provinces of Luang Prabang, Huaphan, Phongsaly, Xieng Khouang, and Oudomxay.
Yellow-spined bamboo locusts hatch in April from eggs laid the previous year, feeding for up to four months before developing wings when reaching adulthood. Adults mate, laying eggs in August, and the life cycle begins again.