A high alert has been issued in Kangra, Una, Bilaspur and Solan districts after massive swarms of desert locust have been reported destroying crops in adjoining states and that may spread to Himachal Pradesh, Director of Agriculture Dr RK Koundal said on Thursday.
The official said that field functionaries have been alerted to keep the continuous and constant vigilance on locust activity and get ready to control any emergency situation, according to an official release.
Farmers have been asked to report any activity of locusts to nearby agriculture officers.
"Desert locusts usually fly with the wind at a speed of about 16-19 km per hour depending on the wind. When swarm settles down in a particular area it should be quickly treated chemically, mechanically beaten and buried by digging trenches," Mr Koundal said.
"At present, the primary method of controlling desert locust swarms and hopper bands is mainly with organophosphate chemical applied in small concentrated doses (referred to as ultra-low volume (ULV) formulation) by vehicle-mounted and aerial sprayers and to a lesser extent by knapsack and hand-operated sprayers. Small patches of locust should be immediately sprayed by ULV," he said.
Mr Koundal further said that all the field officers have been directed to create awareness among the farmers regarding the locust attack.
"Directions have also been given to check its gregarious and solitary forms immediately by spraying contact insecticides," he added.
Bio-Control Laboratory, Kangra and Mandi have been directed to prepare Metarhizium and Beauveria bio-insecticides at their full capacities.
He said that presently no locust activity has been reported from any part of the state and necessary steps for locust control have already been taken.
"Field Officers have been directed to keep continuous watch and report any activity of the locust in the fields to the Agriculture Directorate for rebuffing the locust attack effectively," Mr Koundal further said.