Locusts devour EC crops

By | January 15, 2009

Thousands of locusts have descended on farms in the Eastern Cape, destroying crops, and other plants. They were discovered in the Ukhahlamba district and the word is that they are traveling in the areas of Adelaide, Tarkastad and Queenstown and Whittlesea.

Research manager at the Department of Agriculture Lumkile Ngada said the department has been alerted to the locust invasion by a local farmer.

The locusts devoured all his lucern. Plant and weed scientists and entomologists have been dispatched to the affected areas, said Ngada.

Control measures, including the spraying of pheromones and insecticides, had already started.

The report from the Department of Agriculture is that the locusts are traveling in three groups of species. They span about five kilometres in wide and 10 metres in height.

It is said that the people in the area are very scared because this was the first time they have come across such a colony of insects.

via Dispatch Now 24/7 – Eastern Cape news as it happens » Blog Archive » Locusts devour EC crops.

John The Baptist ate these things with wild honey (Matthew 3:1-4 RSV). According to Levitical dietary laws  locusts were “clean” food (Leviticus 11:21-23 RSV). Here is the quote about locusts at the end of the world from keyway.ca:

locusts“Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth; they were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green growth or any tree, but only those of mankind who have not the seal of God upon their foreheads; they were allowed to torture them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torture was like the torture of a scorpion, when it stings a man. And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death will fly from them.”

“In appearance the locusts were like horses arrayed for battle; on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth; they had scales like iron breastplates, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. They have tails like scorpions, and stings, and their power of hurting men for five months lies in their tails. They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.” (Revelation 9:1-11 RSV)

They can be destroyed by spraying from aircraft.  Also, the naturally occurring fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is deadly to both locusts and grasshoppers. They both die 4 to 10 days after infection. This fungus does not hurt other insects, plants, animals or people, it seems.

Metarhizium anisopliae, formerly known as Entomophthora anisopliae (basionym), is a fungus that grows naturally in soils throughout the world and causes disease in various insects by acting as a parasite; it thus belongs to the entomopathogenic fungi[1]. It is known to infect over 200 insect species, including termites. It is currently being used as a biological insecticide to control a number of pests such as grasshoppers, termites, thrips, etc. and its use in the control of malaria-transmitting mosquitos is under investigation.wiki

One thought on “Locusts devour EC crops

  1. Sepp

    That Bible quote (Revelation) seems less about locusts as we know them and more about little flying mechanical “insects” as they are already being developed for the military. So in the prediction of Revelation, they are sub-lethal (“they were allowed to torture them for five months, but not to kill them”) but can inflict pain and they are loosed against those “who have not the seal of God upon their foreheads”.

    Hmmm – time to start looking around for one of those seals…

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