Thick swarms of locusts are continuing to eat through vegetation in Chatham, distressing farmers and homeowners.
The insects which hatched in the Cedros forests have moved into the residential communities near Ashford Trace, Belle View and Chatham Junction.
Ornamental plants, crops and fruit trees have not been spared.
Resident said Persad Beharry said he has started using camphor to keep the insects at bay.
“It makes no sense using insecticide. It is just too much to kill. The Locust Unit does not come when we call. They say the tractor was down the last time we called,” Beharry said.
He said the insects chomped down his pepper trees as well as his chataigne tree.
“They eating down my Chinese coconut trees as well,” he said.
Beharry said the tractor was useless in killing the swarms. He said a crop duster aircraft should be utilised to do aerial spraying. Told that aerial spraying could also kill valuable insects such as bees, Beharry said there must be some way to eradicate the pests before they cleared down all the agricultural estates in the Cedros district.
Nishe Seeraj, of Ashford Trace, said it was distressing to see their crops being eaten away.
“They on my zaboca tree right now. I too have called the Locust Unit and they sprayed inside by me but it is too much. As soon as you spray others come back,” she added.
A source from the Ministry of Agriculture said the locusts should have been eradicated before they started to fly and teams would be hard pressed to kill the insects now.
“We can kill what we have access to but they are flying from place to place. This will go on until November. That is when they come down low, mate and lay eggs before they die. They are at the tree levels now and they are eating out the tops of trees, especially tall fruit trees, chataigne and mango trees. There is little we can do now,” the official said.