Swarms of locusts spotted in Red Sea Governorate

Swarms of locusts spotted in Red Sea Governorate

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Sun, 24/02/2013 - 21:15

Teams set up to monitor locusts spotted swarms of them in Hamata, Baranis and Sheikh al-Shazly in the southern Red Sea Governorate, up to Ras Gharib further north.

Control teams in these areas and in Gouna began spraying insecticides to fight the locusts.

In early January, high-density groups of mature adult locusts continued to lay eggs in the Abraaq area in the Red Sea Hills, west of Berenice.

“If additional rains fall and conditions remain favorable, a second generation of breeding could occur,” the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said in its January bulletin.

But the FAO added a 17 February update on its website that despite “substantial” ground control operations in Egypt among other countries, “more swarms are expected to form in northeast Sudan and southeast Egypt in the coming weeks.”

The locust swarms could pose a threat to winter crops. According to the FAO’s website, an adult desert locust can “consume roughly its own weight in fresh food per day,” or about 2 grams.

“A very small part of an average swarm” — about 1 ton of locusts — “eats the same amount of food in one day as about 10 elephants or 25 camels or 2,500 people,” the website reads.

Edited translation from MENA