Experts have finally put an end to fears of a possible locust attack over a deserted farm in Cox's Bazar's Teknaf upazila and concluded that the insects seen last month are in fact "spotted grasshoppers".
A 10-member team comprising of plant protection experts, entomologists and agricultural scientists revealed their findings today after visiting the spot.
On April 18, a swarm of insects were seen over an abandoned farm in Teknaf upazila raising concerns of locust attack just as the country is facing coronavirus outbreak. The speculations prompted the government to send a team of experts to Teknaf in a bid to identify the species.
The insect was identified after thorough investigation, said Nasir Uddin, coordinator of the experts' team and also additional director (acting) of Department of Agriculture Extension (Chattogram region).
"People of the country have nothing to fear. The insect cannot spread like locusts and is not as destructive as locusts. It only eats leaves of wild plants," Nasir said.
The insects also do not attack any other common vegetative species, Nasir added.
They were identified as Aularches Miliaris, belonging to the family of Pyrgomorphidae.
The team also observed that the insects can be easily killed with pesticides.
Nasir, however, urged people to contact concerned agriculture offices if they come across any such insects.
On April 18, people of Lombori village at Sadar union of Teknaf discovered the insects eating the top portion of leaves at an abandoned poultry farm. Locals immediately contacted the local agriculture office.
Agriculture specialists in the locality collected samples and sent them to the agricultural research center in Chattogram.