Yellow-spotted grasshopper spreads to other areas

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

A type of yellow- spotted grasshopper that destroys crops, first reported in Kurunegala, has now been spotted in the Kegalle and Matara areas.

The Department of Agriculture said the monotypic grasshopper species known as Aularches miliaris, belongs to the family Pyrgomorphidae, and is a type of locust.

Earlier it was reported that a large scale of plantations were destroyed in the Mawathagama area in Kurunegala due to the grasshoppers.

Director General of the Department of Agriculture M.W. Weerakoon told the Colombo Gazette that special measures were taken to destroy the insects and the situation has now been contained.

However, there are reports of the insects being found in the Matara and Kegalle areas.

The warm climate in both Matara and Kegalle could contribute to the increase in the grasshopper population and could result in large scale devastation to crops in the areas, he said.

Officials from the Department of Agriculture are to visit the areas affected in Kegalle today.

The Department of Agriculture has requested farmers to contact the Department if there is a spread of the grasshopper population via their official hotline 1920.

Director General of the Department of Agriculture M.W. Weerakoon explained that the grasshoppers are in their nymph stage, which is the stage before adulthood preventing their migration.

He said it was essential to destroy the insects at this stage as they do not have wings and start flying only when they reach adulthood. (Colombo Gazette)

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