Swarms of locusts are invading swathes of lands in india since April 11th of this year.Rajastan,Punjab,U.P,Maharasta which are highly Regnant of locusts currently.Farmers are worried greatly about this locusts invasion.already 90,000 hectares affected in rajastan.I can say battling with locusts is an another great challenge to india which is already teetering on the edge of corona pandemic.
WHAT IS A LOCUST ?
locust is a grassohoper which is found in tropical areas.there are nearly 10,000 species of grassohopers among them locust is one.again,there are different types of locusts found in the world.In this article i am talking about ‘DESERT LOCUST’ which is causing a severe threat to western india.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT GREGARIOUS PHASE OF LOCUSTS:
Locusts can travel nearly 150km/day.one square kilometre of swath contains 40 million locusts.they can eat as much food as 35,000 people assuming each individual consumes 2.3kg of food per day.An adult female locust can lay 80-90 eggs(thrice in a three months of life cycle).locusts are polyphagus means they feed on a large variety of plants.
#HOW DID THEY ENTER IN INDIA#
It is beleived that locusts originated in northern part of africa which is home to sahara desert.this region receives short rainfall during the month of october to december.In india we call this phenomena as western disturbance which causes rainfall in northern africa and travels towards eastern direction.so the month of october to december is the perfect time for locusts to breed.as they travel long distances don’t be surprised that the western disturbance play a role in their migration. so they migrate towards pakistan and india.agin during the month of march to april northern part of african region gets heavy rainfall which is a favourable condition for locusts to breed.this is a cyclic process.Rain bearing winds provide favourable climate for locusts breeding.usually in india locusts start laying eggs during monssons.at that time kharif season begins(crops grown at the first rain),and harvested at the end of monsoons(oct-nov).that means by the time of kharif crops are ready to be harvested a new generation of locusts will be raising and getting ready to attack kharif crops(locust eggs takes 3 month to mature).if we are unable to mitigate them before kharif crops gets harvested there will be a severe loss.if i have to summarise locusts attack in india is because of unpredictable winds and availability of crops.
HOW TO COMBAT???
Many coutries struck a bow by relying on organo phosphate chemical to control locusts. these are applied in small concentrated doses by using drones.
In uttarpradesh local villagers have been asked to make noise by beating ‘thalis’ and brusting crackers.officials say these measures will help in controlling/eliminating locusts at their resting places.