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Caterpillar plague in eastern Kazakhstan

Photo courtesy of naturalist.uzhgorod.ua Photo courtesy of naturalist.uzhgorod.ua

Green caterpillars have flooded eastern Kazakhstan, especially Shygys and Novoyavlenka villages, Tengrinews reports citing regional portal Yk.kz.

Local residents made the call to the emergency services on June 27. They claimed there was a caterpillar plague. Insects were getting into their houses. The emergency services of Ust-Kamenogorsk arrived to investigate the situation and filed a report to the environmental prosecutor's office asking for assistance in tackling the issue.

Experts attribute the caterpillars to a special kind of elm leaf beetle. Apart from being very an unpleasant sight and a danger to vegetation, they are not in any way dangerous to humans.

In appearance they resemble annulets. Caterpillars crawl in a very peculiar manner: firmly entrenching on their thoracic legs, they bend in a loop in the middle part of their bodies and pull up the abdominal legs to the pectoral legs. Their highly developed muscles allow them to remain still in a stretched and uplifted position for a very long time holding onto a branch only with their hind legs. 


The Ministry of Agriculture has already started treating the area with chemicals. "Laboratory tests were made and the area of distribution of the dangerous pest - meadow moth, caterpillars of which are destroying the vegetation - was studied. The treatment is done based on the findings," the head of the East Kazakhstan Territorial Inspection Committee of the State Inspectorate of the Ministry of Agriculture Askar Zhakupbayev said.

Karate-500 pesticide is used in Ulan, Shemonaikhin and Glubokov districts of eastern Kazakhstan to treat farmlands against the green worms.

Zhakupbayev said that the previous time when the meadow moth posed a serious threat to agriculture was in 2010. The reasons for its comeback in 2014 are heat and fast growth of weeds. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture claims that the insects came to the region from neighboring countries.

Writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina 

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