Italian island of Sardinia infested with locusts | Focus on Europe

Italian island of Sardinia infested with locusts | Focus on Europe

Higher temperatures lead to huge swarms of locusts. For the inhabitants of the Italian island of Sardinia, this is a disaster. There are not many options to fight back.

A Barren landscape and the last
stragglers of a recent locust swarm the
insects left a trail of Devastation in
their wake
also on Farmer Antonello browse pastures
[Music]
there’s nothing left look at the soil
they deverred everything look here
see how many locusts there are
foreign
the slurry tank is full of locusts
Antonello had to move his 800 goats to
the surrounding Countryside as there was
nothing left for them to graze on here
the insects even ate the hay for the
winter which will mean higher costs on a
job that’s already hardly profitable
it’s impossible to calculate the damages
they caused we’ve had Locust invasions
since 2019 but it’s never been as bad as
this year
an estimated 50 000 hectares of land in
Sardinia have been affected the
epicenter of the plague is the tearso
river valley
this whole area has been ravaged by the
locusts
they moved along the river with the
floodplains below this mountain range
offer ideal conditions for locusts
Gavino and Fabio worked for the regional
agriculture agency part of their job is
to try to gain control over the pests
here this female is laying our eggs
she digs a hole clears it out then and
go the eggs
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every female deposits up to 30 Eggs
three times each season
these are the pods in three next to each
other
inside that the eggs of the locusts
the life cycle lasts from April to July
they lay eggs three times and then they
die
locusts will even eat other dead locusts
Fabio says proper plowing of the land is
an important tool for combating
invasions
plowing is important in order to get the
eggs out of the ground and onto the
surface
because only there can they be eaten by
their natural Predators Birds pigs wild
boars or other omnivores
Arturo Coco from the University of
sasari researches locusts he explains
multiple factors contribute to Locust
infestations which began on Sardinia in
2019.
climate change plays a big role because
we now have long dry periods receive on
top of that more and more land has been
abandoned it’s no longer being
cultivated or managed
the use of chemicals is only effective
against young locusts plus there are
large areas where pesticides cannot be
used anyway because they’re devoted to
organic farming researchers are
therefore relying on natural Predators
first and foremost this Beetle malabarus
variables
we must do whatever it takes to protect
and propagate the locusts natural
Predators
that’s the only way we can control this
infestation
foreign
o and Fabio collect the Beatles as they
are currently the most successful weapon
for preventing future Locust plagues
this Beetle lays its eggs in the hole
where the locusts have their eggs
and then the beetle larvae eat the
Locust eggs
we tried to capture as many Beetles as
possible in places where they’re not
needed and use them where we need their
help
in 2021 sardinia’s Regional government
made a plan to combat the Locust plagues
this includes an app for reporting
swarms Organic pesticides and Farmers
being required to plow their land even
now Gavino and Fabio are working hard so
that next summer their native Island
will be spared from the insects

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