Year after year, locusts have been eating away our crops, which has not been so alarming since they would feed on tree leaves if no edible crops were found. However, this pandemic year is different since we need every grain that we grow to feed the entire nation.
The Northern and Central India have been hit with the Locust attack in almost 4 districts. The Locust Warning Organization has been providing aid to those sectors which could be affected by the locust attack.
The key focus here is not to be alarmed about the locust attack but to find a way to handle the current situation. We need a locust attack prevention method to counter this issue.
The locust attack in India is mainly due to the spring breeding in Pakistan, leading to both the neighboring countries suffer.
The Locust swarm usually travel in huge packs with a few kilometers in range.
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What is Locust Swarm?
What is locust? Locust is a short-horned grasshopper which belongs to the species family Acrididae and is solitary by nature.
However, certain conditions would make them change their solitary behavior and form huge groups. When we say huge groups, this year’s swarm has stretched to 17 kilometers in length, with 2.5 kilometers in width.
They do not harm humans or animals; however, the consumer leaves of every tree or plant in a path. The easiest way to deal with this locust bug herd would be making loud noises and spraying.
We all know how to deal with them. However, they do have a 15 day breeding period and lay eggs 10 centimeters below a sandy soil. One female can lay up to 80 eggs in a sack. We need to deal with the breeding process to prevent the locust swarm attack.
How to control locust attack?
In this article, we have talked about a few prevention methods. When we look at all the landmass and the greenery of the country, we would require something better.
Two primary ways to deal with locust swarm attacks would be stopping the subsequent breeding and adequate chemical spraying of the crops which would kill the grasshoppers or maybe ward them away. These two things are easier said than done.
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Subsequent Breeding Prohibition?
A cycle of 90 days would be the overall attack of the locusts. We would need to stop them at the initial stages, or else we would need to stop the breeding altogether. Common breeding grounds have to be checked thoroughly for any egg sacks since they lay eggs 10cm below a sandy soil.
The subsequent breeding of these grasshoppers would be a catastrophe for farmers in any country. We would need to stop the rapid multiplication of the numbers and dwindle their numbers to as minimal as possible.
Currently, all the affected states have been on constant alert as soon as the locusts hit Rajasthan. Being prepared, we were able to ward off some part of the huge herd and even more kill a few. However, we still need to work on the other solution for this locust attack.
A locust attack prevention plan is underway by the government. The government has ordered 60 new spraying machines, which help with spraying from helicopters and airplanes to cover larger areas in minimal time. There have been reports of minor crop loss in many affected districts. This would be what we call collateral damage.
This has to be a coordinated strategy of all the affected countries in the content for a thorough inhibition of the locust swarm threat. We know how to stop the locust attacks. We need to know how to control locust attack in case we are not able to stop this locust bug, Loud noises and spraying chemicals are a few best locust attack tips.
Loud noises could be a temporary solution. However, a thorough chemical spraying of the fields would be a much better counterattack.
We know that the government has been using the latest technology during the Covid-19 outbreak like drones to spy of red zones of any people’s movements. The agricultural department is not left behind either.
Drones are being deployed which could spray the chemicals on fields and control locust attack. This is an exception gesture from our government to help alleviate the situation in all possible ways.
By using everything at their disposal, the agriculture of the country will flourish during this pandemic.
As per the officials, sprayers will be available from the UK by the 11th or 12th of June. We would need to carefully control the locust swarm attack and minimize the losses.
The supply will not end with just sprayers; more aerial kits will be available by end of the month. With this plan, we know how to control locust attacks if not completely prevent it.
The locust bug took us by surprise this year they weren’t expected until the mid of June. However, the first few affected districts did alarm all the other parts of the Northern & Central districts who are most likely to get affected.
People have been prepared well in advance and ward off the locust bug and save the plantation. Governing authorities have been providing support but, we would require even further support in these trying times to overcome yet another hurdle this year.