Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål), is one of the most important insect pests in Saudi Arabia. Cultivated crops and the range lands are heavily affected by desert locust in some regions of Saudi Arabia. The objective of this study was to determine the extent of damage by the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål) to the range lands being used for grazing range animals in Gazan and Makkah regions of Saudi Arabia. However, it is very difficult to estimate accurately the total infested areas, which were sprayed with insecticides to control upsurges, outbreaks and plagues over the last five decades. Records of Desert Locust control are kept in the National Desert Locust Control and Research Center in Jeddah. Meteorological data was obtained from the Meteorology and Environmental Protection Administration (MEPA), Saudi Arabia. The data shows that the Desert Locust infestation was associated partially with the rainfall intensity in Gazan and Makkah regions. There was found a good relationship between Desert Locust infestation (Solitary phase), temperature and the relative humidity. The locust infestation was heavy during 1986-88, 1992-95 and 1997-98 and about 1.8 million ha were treated with insecticides. Out of the total breeding/infested area, 43% was treated in winter months (October-February) and the remaining 57% was treated in spring season (March-June). The infested area was sprayed with Marshall, Carbosulfan (20%), Malathion (96%, Clorpyrifos; (48%) Fipronil (12.5%), Sumithion (100%) and Decis (12.5%). The study showed an excellent potential to determine the active locust infestation period in relation to the environmental factors for its effective control with insecticide sprays to minimize crop damage. The study highlighted the needs for further investigations in other locust infested areas with different environmental factors for planning future desert locust control programs.
Abdulaziz M. Al-Ajlan , 2007. Relationship Between Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål), Infestation, Environmental Factors and Control Measures in Gazan and Makkah Regions, Saudi Arabia. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 10: 3507-3515.