PHOTOS: Locust Swarms Invade Maharashtra And Rajasthan, Alert In Delhi, UP Districts

Akshita Jain

After swarms of locusts entered residential areas in Jaipur on Monday, at least 10 districts in Uttar Pradesh were put on alert on Tuesday. 

The locusts entered India through Rajasthan on 11 April and have affected at least five states in India. Swarms have also entered Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Delhi has also been put on alert, Hindustan Times said.

ALSO READ: Locusts Enter Rajasthan’s Jaipur, Alert In Delhi: 5 Things To Know

A government spokesperson told PTI that a swarm of locusts was seen in the jungles of Jhansi on Sunday and 40% of it was destroyed after chemicals were sprayed by government teams.

Locust attacks this year, CNBC TV18 said, have come earlier than usual. These incidents generally occur in July to October period, the report added, but the low wind pressure creating cyclones and storms has hastened the phenomenon.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation says that locust swarms can vary in size from less than one square kilometre to several hundred square kilometres. While the insects do not harm humans or animals, they can cause significant damage to crops. The FAO says that a one square km swarm contains about 40 million locusts, which can eat the same amount of food in one day as about 35,000 people.

Experts told NDTV that unless controlled, the swarms could destroy crops worth thousands of crores, which could plunge farmers into an even bigger crisis at a time the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted supply chains and put livelihoods at risk.

A resident tries to fend off swarms of locusts from a mango tree in a residential area of Jaipur on 25 May, 2020. 
A man holds a locust after swarms of the insect attacked the residential areas of Jaipur on May 25, 2020.
Locusts are seen atop a residential building in Jaipur.
Swarms of locust attack in Jaipur on May 25, 2020. Locusts have affected18 districts of Rajasthan. 

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