As anticipated, hatching has been detected in eastern Ethiopia where desert locust swarms have been laying eggs since late April.
The hatchlings are forming hopper bands that have been seen in a few places so far (see blue dots in the map). More hatching and band formation are expected throughout eastern Ethiopia during the remainder of this month.
It is highly likely that the map is not representative, as the area under observation is enormous, with good conditions for breeding. The whole plateau in Eastern Ethiopia up to Somalia, and the area between Dire Dawa and Djibouti are likely to have a dense presence of hopper bands.
If hopper band infestations are not adequately detected and treated, new swarms could form from mid-June onwards and move west to the Afar region in northeast Ethiopia for summer breeding.
The month of June will be devoted to intense ground surveillance and control operations. Given the vastness of the area, the distance between points and the difficult terrain, the task is extremely difficult.
As of end-May 2021, most hoppers are in the early stage (instar 1-2). Treatment is recommended from instar 3-onwards, to avoid cyclical treatment in the same areas.
Increased vigilance must be maintained, especially in Ethiopia and Somalia where a hopper band campaign should be mounted to reduce eventual swarm formation but only after hatching has completely finished, avoiding repeated treatment of the same area.