RADHICA DE SILVA
Thick swarms of locust hoppers have invaded the community of Cachipe in Moruga, gnawing away at crops and fruit trees.
The insects have been in the area for the past fortnight and residents are calling on the Ministry of Agriculture to send spray teams into the village. On either side of Cachipe are vast forests where the hoppers may have hatched about a month ago.
Ministry teams have responded but said they are not authorized to spray inside residents’ properties, because the chemicals could harm residents and pets.
Moruga resident, Kiel Auguste, says the dead insects are like a thick carpet on the ground, which stinks for days.
He says each day he picks up buckets of dead hoppers.
"It is costly to have to buy insect spray every day. After I finish work, I have to come home and clean up the yard. I have been dealing with this for too long. Something has to be done," Auguste said.
Residents have used tape to block out the insects from entering through creases and holes.
Officials from the Ministry say the hoppers also have been seen at Point Coco and Granville in Cedros.