Swarms of locusts had entered India via Pakistan in April, which had initially migrated from Iran last year. They have now entered 5 states- Rajasthan, MP, Gujarat, UP and Maharashtra.
This species, called Desert Locusts, is said to move in groups and can cause massive destruction on their way. They are deemed to be the most destructive migratory pest in the world. They can consume crops up to their own weight every day, and one swarm, which covers about one square kilometre, contains up to 80 million locusts.
According to reports, the swarm which migrated to India was around two to three kilometres long. When crops in some parts of Gujarat were infested with these locusts in December 2019, around 25,000 hectares of land was destroyed. And now, since more areas are infested, the destruction is also on a larger scale.
Farmers in Punjab and surrounding areas have also been put under alert. A part of the swarm had also entered residential areas in Jaipur, probably due to lack of crops to feed on.
Even though the life span of these Desert Locusts is just 90 days, they breed among themselves quickly. In just three breeding seasons, they can increase their swarm by 16,000 times. They are said to follow wind patterns, which were cyclonic in West Rajasthan due to cyclones forming in the Mediterranean region because of climate change.
By Yukta Baid