The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture's efforts are on to curb the spread of desert locust in the country.
As desert locust survey and control operations are being carried out, an area of 12,002 hectares has been surveyed and 1,585 hectares have been treated in Taif, Riyadh, Al-Baha and Najran regions in the second half of June.
The ministry confirmed that the desert locust situation in these areas is improving and that exploration and control operations continue to be carried out until areas are completely cleared of locusts. Intensive operations are currently underway in the highlands of Asir region, which is considered a migration area for swarms to the summer breeding areas in neighboring countries.
According to the ministry, locusts have been sighted in Asir due to the locust outbreak taking place in neighboring countries and the seasonal migration between breeding areas passing through the Kingdom, as well as wind and swarm density factors in neighboring countries. Also, low temperatures, shortage of good rainfalls, and the drought that prevailed in the highlands helped prevent locust from being quickly matured and laid eggs.
The ministry pointed out that the field teams are following very closely the possibility of breeding and laying eggs in Asir, especially after seeing mature locusts in the swarms, emphasizing the great capabilities they have for locust control in the field.
The ministry said that early control operations conducted on desert locust groups are expected to contribute to ending the infestation in mid-July. Adding that in the event of maturity and breeding, it is expected to be in a limited range and it will be controlled within a month and a half, depending on the date of hatching and the appearance of hoppers.