(INTELLIHUB) — Along the border of Egypt and Israel millions of locusts have mysteriously appeared in giant swarms across the area. This problem was first reported weeks ago but has continued in intensity, destroying crops and creating a widespread disturbance in travel and trade.
Additional bands of locusts entered Israel throughout the day on Tuesday, marking a week since the first wave of bugs flew across the Sinai border and landed here. Two swarms swooped in on Tuesday afternoon in the Revivim and Kama areas, following another fresh pack that entered through Kadesh Barnea a few hours before, the Agriculture Ministry reported.
Stav Talal, a researcher from Tel Aviv University who went south to gather samples of the invaders, told the Hebrew news Web site Ynet that the locusts had originated from the deserts of Sudan and had moved north in search of food. But he added that the conditions in Israel were not ideal for the locusts, the relative cold making it hard for them to multiply.
However, even if they don’t have the ability to multiply there are still enough there now to cause some damage. There are “millions” according to a Tuesday evening Channel 2 News report, and that was just in Israel, apparently the situation is even worse in Egypt.
While the country’s political chaos has been grabbing international attention, the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture has been combating locust swarms countrywide: in Cairo, Upper Egypt, the Canal area, the Red Sea governorate, El Arish and other border areas in the Sinai Peninsula.
Monitoring stations have been established in areas suspected as possible destinations for the locusts, the state newspaper Al-Ahram reported. While the ministry maintained that there were no material losses, the Bedouin of Upper Egypt said the locusts had destroyed their cumin crop and asked the government for compensation.
The New York Times also reported that pesticides were being used to kill off the locusts, and although they claim that the pesticides are harmless to humans, that fact has yet to be proven or confirmed.
(Photo: National Geographic)