With the entire world fighting with Coronavirus, some of the cities like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujrat, and Maharashtra are battling with the wreaking havoc- Locust Attack. It is the condition where the insects destroy crops.
Locusts are short-horned grasshoppers that have a swarming phase. These insects are solitary; however, with the change in the circumstances, they become active. Though they do not pose any economic threat to agriculture but under suitable conditions like drought and rapid vegetation, they start breeding in abundance and cause damage to the crops. The adult locusts are more potent as they can travel great distances and consume green vegetation. In the past, the same insects have been the prime cause of plaque.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Desert Locust can fly up to 150 km a day, and a one-square-kilometer swarm can consume as much food as 35,000 people in one day.
Things to Do to Protect your Farms and Gardens from Locust:
Swarms of Locust are not confined to farmlands; they can also damage vegetation, plants, orchards, and gardens. These insects can also attack in the areas where there is a dense human habitation. In order to protect your farms and gardens from the Locust attack, the following measures would be helpful.
1. Maintain Trees and Shrubs
Trees and Shrubs are found to be natural enemies of locusts. The leaves of the trees cover the ground surface that does not allow Locust to access the soil, where they can lay eggs and later cause havoc. In addition to this, the trees, shrubs, and flowering plants provide shelter to the parasitic wasps, birds, and other species, which discourage the entry of Locust. Trees and shrubs with insecticidal properties would be more helpful. Neem is a perfect example of such trees.
2. Shout Out
Another trick that could help your gardens and farms to save from locusts attack is clapping our shout. Loud noise can scare insects like locusts. If you spend most of your time in the garden or farm or have workers who look out after your farm, your farms are at low risk of locust attack. Locusts can detect the sound, and thus, they will not enter in that particular area. The advisory of the governments also suggests the farmers and the owners of the farms and gardens to beat drums, tin containers, and metal plates and create a loud noise to shoo locusts from feeding on the crops
3. Noise Emitting Machines
You can even use noise emitting machines to get rid of Locust. The simple automated tools can scare away locusts from gardens and farmlands. Such types of devices can be powered by solar. It has metallic material that can produce a loud noise. This trick can work in small setups.
4. Use Insecticides and Pesticides
The Delhi Agriculture Department has issued an advisory to control the Locust attack. The swarm of the locusts flies in the morning, and they rest in the night. Taking the same benefit, the Locust can be killed through pesticides and insecticide in the night when they rest. According to the Delhi Government Advisory, farmers can spray following insecticides and pesticides
- Malathion 50% EC — 1850 gm/ml/per hectare — 500 liter per hectare dilution in water.
- Chlorophyriphos 20% EC — 1200 gm/ml/per hectare — 500 litre per hectare dilution in water.
- Chlorophyriphos 50% EC — 500 gm/ml/per hectare — 500 litre per hectare dilution in water.
- Melathion 25% WP — 3700 gm/ml/per hectare — 500 litre per hectare dilution in water.
5. Cover the Saplings
Another way to control locusts attack is to cover the saplings in the nursery with polyethylene. This will avert the attack of desert locust insects and will not let the nursery damaged. In addition to this, covering plants with polyethylene will also save them from the heat.
6. Ducks and Chickens to Get rid Of Locusts
Birds and ducks like to eat insects like Locust. Locusts are found to be a rich source of protein that can fasten the growth. Though ducks are more effective than chicken as they can eat over 400 insects a day. To reap the benefits of the same practice, you can keep chicken and ducks at your farms and gardens.
In a bit to fight back with the locust attack, Indian states are taking every possible action.
Locusts are types of insects that feed on the vegetation and crops. In the last few years, there are many states like Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, and many more to name that have been affected by the Locust attack. In a bid to protect from the locusts’ attack government has come up with advisory. While the government is taking the initiative to battle with Locusts, we as citizens can help the government with simple steps to control locusts attack.