Even with all the gruesome weaponry that fallen man has created over the years, few things are creepier or more disturbing than when the insect world comes swarming. When God wanted to get Pharoah’s attention in the Old Testament, He sent plagues of disgusting insects and reptilian creatures. Right now, billions of locusts are descending on Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Kinda funny, though, how these swarms almost always skip right over Israel, isn’t it?
FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: According to an agency press release, heavy rains triggered two generations of breeding since October, leading to a substantial increase in the locust population.
“The next three months will be critical in bringing the locust situation under control before the summer breeding starts,” FAO’s Senior Locust Forecasting Officer Keith Cressman said.
Earlier this year, the insects evoked biblical times when they showed up at holy sites in Mecca, covering some areas in darkness and sparking a thunderstorm of hail and fire on social media.
“These locusts are normally present in low numbers in the desert and don’t cause a big problem. But following a large rainfall they can quickly multiply, eventually forming hopper bands or swarms of adults, composed of billions of individual locusts,” Cressman told The Media Line.
ACCORDING TO THE FAO, LOCUST SWARMS CAN EXTEND OUTWARDS SEVERAL HUNDRED SQUARE MILES, CONTAINING ROUGHLY 40-80 MILLION ADULT LOCUSTS IN EACH SQUARE MILE.
What makes these insects so dangerous is their threat to food security, says Cressman.
“A desert locust adult can consume its own weight (roughly 2 grams) in food in a day. The added difficulty is they’re normally in the desert, so they’re eating the vegetation there.
“Once they get into rainfed crops on the edge of the desert, grown by poor farmers, they’re eating an entire livelihood, and then they move into the country and affect national food supplies,” he emphasized.
Therefore, a swarm of about 40 million locusts eats the same amount of food in one day as about 35,000 average people. A swarm reaching the size of Paris would eat the same quantity of food in 24 hours as half the population of France, according to the FAO.
“When a locust swarm lands, it can cause crop losses of 80-100 percent,” Dr. Arianna Cease, Director of the Global Locust Initiative at Arizona State University, told The Media Line. “This is particularly devastating for subsistence farmers who depend on their crops to feed their families.”
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