Desert Locust Bulletin 492 (3 October 2019)

General situation during September 2019

Forecast until mid-November 2019


A second generation of breeding occurred in Chad while small-scale breeding was underway in Algeria, Niger and probably southern Mauritania and northern Mali. FORECAST. Breeding will decline in Mali, Niger and Chad but increase in northwest Mauritania where small groups may form, and possibly extend to Western Sahara in Morocco. Local breeding may occur in Algeria.


Hopper groups and bands formed in Ethiopia (4 636 ha treated) and on the Red Sea coast in Yemen (245 ha treated) and Saudi Arabia (4 195 ha treated). Early breeding occurred on the Eritrean coast (53 ha treated). Hopper bands persisted in the Yemen interior. Swarms were present in northern Somalia. Summer breeding was limited in Sudan. FORECAST. Breeding on the coast and interior will cause a substantial increase in locust numbers in Yemen, supplemented by breeding in Saudi Arabia. Adult groups and swarms may form in Ethiopia and migrate to the Ogaden and Eritrea. Winter breeding will continue on the Red Sea coast in Eritrea and start in Sudan.


Control operations increased further in India (84 639 ha) and Pakistan (30 210 ha) against second-generation breeding. Isolated adults persisted in southern Iran. FORECAST. As vegetation dries and breeding ends, adult groups and small swarms are expected to form along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border and migrate to southwest Pakistan and southeast Iran where they are likely to remain and slowly mature.

Situation remains threatening in eastern and central regions

The current situation deteriorated in Ethiopia and remains serious in Yemen, Pakistan and India. Swarms laid eggs in northeast Ethiopia that gave rise to hopper bands and aerial control operations were carried out. Once new swarms form, they could migrate south to the Ogaden and north to the Eritrean Red Sea coast where breeding already started. Hopper groups and bands formed on the Red Sea coast of Yemen and, to a lesser extent, in adjacent coastal areas of Saudi Arabia while breeding continued in the interior of Yemen. Control operations were undertaken in both countries. Unusually good rains that fell in Yemen will allow breeding to continue, mostly unchecked, in the interior and on the coast, which will cause a substantial increase in locusts. Breeding may eventually occur in central Oman where heavy rains fell from Cyclone Hikka. Ground control operations increased along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border against swarms and a second generation of breeding that caused hopper groups and bands to form. As monsoon rains lasted longer than usual, infestations will persist in October. Any locusts that are not detected or controlled will form adult groups and small swarms that are expected to migrate west to southwest Pakistan and southeast Iran where rains are forecasted from October onwards. This would allow infestations to persist until temperatures warm up in the spring for breeding. Locust numbers remained low in West Africa despite two generations of breeding in Chad. Adults are expected to concentrate and breed in northwest Mauritania where unusually good rains fell.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations