Warning of big locust swarms heading towards MP

Locusts around but Bhopal safe

Staff ReporterUpdated: Thursday, May 28, 2020, 02:23 AM IST
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Locust Swarm/ representative pic |

BHOPAL: The good news is that the locust swarms that have entered Madhya Pradesh are expected to be controlled within 8-10 days. And the bad news- about two bigger swarms could enter the state from Rajasthan in next two to four days.

It has been almost a week that locusts have entered Madhya Pradesh- after a gap of about 27 years. They have entered Neemuch first and have now covered several hundreds of kilometers aided by direction of the wind.

Though this lot has been taken care of and will be controlled within 8-10 days, there is warning of another big swams that could enter Madhya Pradesh in next two to four days from Rajasthan. According to warning, one of the swarm is expected to enter from Gwalior or Sheopur and another from Neemuch.

Another development in this regard was that a swarm of locusts reached on boundary of Bhopal but spared the state capital. A lot that flew from areas around Gwalior reached in villages of Sehore.

From here they spread to Nasrullahganj, Rehti, Delawadi and some villages in Raisen. However, the direction of wind turned them to Vindhya region and Bhopal was spared.

“The biggest challenge is to prevent them breeding as it may prove havoc for the kharif season. They breed (lay eggs) in moist places like wet fields or near rivers,” said Akshat Chaturvedi, deputy director agriculture and a part of team dealing the locust menace.

State government is working with Central Locust Warning Organisation- that is in state to deal with the age old international problem. They fly and travel during day time and rest on trees and crops during night. The teams including farmers and common people bang utensils, play DJ and loud sounds to shoo them away. In night, specific chemical solution is sprayed through fire tenders to finish the insects. Farms and fields are also chemically treated to destroy their eggs, if any.

The size and number of swarms keep changing as they break into more groups or unite. Considering the size of their groups about 50-60% are killed during night operations, said KL Gurjar from the Locust Warning Organisation. Some districts where drones are available are also being used to contain them, he added.

The locusts have affected the Malwa region the most including Ujjain, Neemuch, Mandsaur, Dhar, Shajapur, Agar Malwa region. Now they have also taken Gwalior region and the Vindhya region in their grip.

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