Worst in 26 years! Swarm of locusts attack Indian farmers

 | Updated: May 28, 2020, 11:46 AM IST

After the coronavirus pandemic, India is braced for another unwelcome guest in the form of the world's most dangerous migratory pests - locusts

Take a look: 

Worst in decades!

Large swarms of parasitic bugs entered the country via Pakistan in April and have been feeding on crops, pasture, and fodder. It is the worst locust attack on India in 26 years.


Locust spread in the world!

The locusts spread from the horn of Africa to Yemen, then flew to Iran before attacking hectares of cotton fields in Pakistan. The pests have now attacked in India.

A single swarm can cover one square kilometer and can ravage crops meant for over 35,000 people with over 80 to 150 million locusts.


Farmers have sleepless night

They possess the ability to breed phenomenally and have a long flying range. In a single day, they cover about 150 kilometers. These pests have been giving farmers sleepless nights since winters.

Over the past year, most of the farmlands affected by locusts have lost over one-third of their crops. They usually come to India around June to feed on summer crops but this year they landed in April.


Pesticides being used

It has jeopardised the agriculture-based economies of several states and there is no quick-fix solution to the pest menace.

Truck loads of pesticides are being sent to different parts of the country but the pests can only be destroyed at night when they settle on the trees.


Drones put to use

Even drones are being used to counter this problem but unfortunately it is much bigger due to global warming. The higher temperature even in winter is perfect for locusts to breed. They have journeyed the world from Africa to West Asia to South Asia.

Locusts arrived in Pakistan from Iran in June 2019 where they devoured the summer crops including cotton, wheat and maize. Although the invasion was expected to subside but it did not. The locusts stayed and spread.