International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development

International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development


International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development
International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development
Vol. 8, Issue 6 (2021)

Agricultural menace by locust swarms


Sandhya Vaid

Desert Locusts are an International trans-boundary insects that migrate in over 30 countries. Locusts belong to predominant Acrididae family and Schistocerca genus. They are commonly known as Desert Locusts or Short Horned Grasshoppers. Locusts are harmless in solitary phase but becomes extremely harmful to crops and plants in gregarious phase. Locust Swarm (LS) also known as Tiddy Dal in Hindi fly in many countries from Africa to West Asia. LS are so densely inhabited that it may have 40 to 150 million locusts per Sq Km of area [1, 5]. Plagues of LS has devastated countries since ancient times of Pharaoh and still wreaking havoc [14]. LSs are infamous for their gregarious size and voracious appetite. LSs are severely harmful to agricultural crops, plants and green vegetation. According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) a LS of average size may eat food equivalent to the diet of 35000 people per day. LS plagues are in record since 1964. Year 2019 has witnessed largest incursions of LS since 1993. In India problem from LSs escalated in 2020, especially in the state of Rajasthan. Migratory LSs from the neighboring country Pakistan; where early arrival of monsoon and moist desert land has become boom for breeding and blossoming, and lack of vegetation; compelled LS to fly to India in search of food [13]. It is alleged, Government of Pakistan (GOP) flouted all warnings and alerts issued by FAO. Insecticides were not sprayed on LSs by GOP to control breeding and spreading of Desert Locusts. Present paper is an overview of Desert Locusts with introduction, classification, characteristics, plagues and upsurges of LSs, Economical impacts, prevention and control of LSs, advantages and role of FAO. Desert Locust plague management strategy need to be framed. Effective and proactive ways to control LSs need to be developed and preventive measures based on EWE data need to be explored to minimize agricultural devastation by Desert Locusts.
Pages : 76-79