KARACHI: The Met Office has said that currently, control operations are in process against hopper groups and bands in the Nagarparkar area of southeast Sindh near the India border.

Citing Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations, it said that “groups of adult are maturing in Tharparkar and Cholistan deserts where laying is expected in areas that have already received monsoon rains.”

It said that this will cause a further increase in locust number as hatching and hopper band formation occur in the coming events. “And there still exists a risk of swarm’s migration across the Indian Ocean to reach the summer breeding areas of Pakistan,” the Met added.

Monsoon rainfall is expected to remain near normal by 10 percent up during July to September 2020 in Pakistan. However, Sindh province is likely to receive a moderately above normal 20 percent rainfall during August and September.

Temperatures are expected to remain higher than the requisite criteria by 35 degrees Celsius in most parts of the lower half of the country. Higher temperatures may decrease the lifetime of locust of below 6 months and their activities may also be affected.

Generally, the Met said, winds are expected to prevail on south-westerly in lowland areas especially over the Sindh province (the vulnerable areas). These winds would push them away towards eastern border or Indian side.

Apart from projected higher temperatures and wind patterns, higher rains would provide a favourable environment for Locust breeding during the monsoon season.

Widespread and Appropriate insecticides spray using aero planes/helicopters or special vehicles in the affected areas, is the only solution to control the spread of locust.