Locust Watch
Locusts in Caucasus and Central Asia
Kyrgyzstan, 2017. ©A. Alakunov


Early reaction, i.e. adequate and timely response to locust infestations is essential to prevent or limit damage to crops and rangelands, thus impact on food security, and to minimize impact of control operations on human health and the environment as well as financial costs of locust campaigns.

At an early stage of an outbreak, concerned areas, usually in natural vegetation and relatively far from crops, are indeed still limited and, often infested by hoppers only -able to form dense patches or bands-, which are less mobile and more sensitive to pesticides than adults. Furthermore, as cropping areas are not under immediate threat, less hazardous but slow acting pesticides can be used. In fact, hoppers are usually the main target for locust control operations, which are carried out from spring to early summer.

Overall, control operations should be carried out by well-trained and well-equipped staff using updated and efficient techniques (such as Ultra-Low Volume spraying or barrier treatments) as well as less environmentally hazardous pesticides and formulations (ready-to-use ones) and alternatives to conventional pesticides, such as Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs - acting on the moult process) and biopesticides. A specific mention should be made of the Ultra-Low Volume spraying technique, recognized as the most efficient and less harmful one for locust control (which results in a well-delimited and homogeneous cover by well-calibrated droplets of a limited quantity of pesticide) and now also largely used in CCA, in addition to the Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC).

Monitoring control operations, i.e. their efficiency and quality, being required with of view to improve such operations and adopt remedial action if needed, CCA countries adopted a standard Spray Monitoring Form (first discussed in 2009, it was reviewed in 2015/16). Together with the standard Locust Survey Form, it forms the basis of the Automated System for Data Collection (ASDC), which feeds the Caucasus and Central Asia Locust Management System (CCALM).


The “Programme to improve national and regional locust management in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA)” (Result 4) aims at improving response mechanisms to locust infestations.

This implies primarily control operations carried out by well-trained and well-equipped staff using updated and efficient techniques (such as barrier treatments and ULV) as well as less environmentally hazardous pesticides and formulations, in particular alternatives to conventional pesticides (i.e. Insect Growth Regulators and biopesticides).

A number of activities have already been implemented to that end over the 2011-2016 period and more are required in the coming years, subject to available funds.
More information on Results achieved over the 2011-2016 period  and The way forward is available on this website under “Programme and donors”.