East Africa, Iran, Pakistan have been combatting a locust attack. Now India is facing the issue.
?Massive swarms of desert locusts (Schistocerca Gregaria), which is a variety of short-horned grasshoppers, are destroying crops and devastating farms across western and central India amid the ongoing pandemic and lockdown.
?Usually they arrive from Pakistan between July and October and remain in Rajasthan. Extreme weather conditions this year have helped the swarms spread into neighboring states.
?Authorities in India have stepped up their response to battle the threat, sending drones, tractors and cars to track the locusts and spraying them with insecticide.
?An adult female locust lays 80-90 eggs thrice in her three-month life cycle. If left uncontrolled, a swarm can grow exponentially to 40-80 million locusts per square kilometer and threaten the food security of a country.
✅ Locusts are ravenous eaters that consume their own weight each day.
✅ A square kilometre size swarm can eat the same amount of food in one day as about 35,000 people.
✅ Locusts have serrated jaws which move from side to side to cut through plant food.
✅ They are also equipped with a pair of secondary jaws which help in holding the food.