Gujarat faces deadly locust attack: Panic grips western India

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 26, 2019, 11.02 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

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The government has formed teams that has been engaged in spraying insecticides in the affected regions.

Panic has gripped farmers across western India as swarms of locust destroyed crops. The insects have already ravaged farmlands. 

Experts say that the unseasonable appearance of locusts may be due to the change in wind pattern after the prolonged monsoon.

Locusts generally come in July. Meanwhile, farmers have said that the government did not take timely action.

They said that the government did not spray insecticides until the situation went out of control.

Locust swarm displays a 'swarm behaviour' which essentially means a collective motion of a large number of animals of similar size. 

Just one swarm can cover up to 20% of the land surface of the earth, affecting the livelihood of 10% of the world’s population.

They can consume up to 200 tonnes of vegetation a day.The locusts in a swarm tend to move in the same direction while avoiding collision with each other.

What is a locust?

Belongs to the grasshopper family. Plague of locusts is a natural disaster, a locust swarm can fly up to 90 miles per day.

Rainfall can increase locusts by 20-fold in 3 months. Adult locust can eat equivalent to their weight every day. There can be 80 million locusts in a swarm. Locusts can also turn cannibal.

How do locusts wreak havoc?

1. Locust displays 'swarm' behaviour
2.Swarm behaviour' means the collective motion of same sized animals 
3. One swarm can contain up to 80 million locusts.
4. One swarm can cover 20% of land cover.
5.  Can affect the livelihood of 10% world population.
6. A swarm can consume up to 200 tonnes of vegetations per day. 
7. Each locust can eat up to their own body weight.
8.  Locusts tend to remain close to their neighbours.