Plagues of desert locusts have threatened agricultural production in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia for centuries. The livelihood of at least one-tenth of the world’s human population can be affected by this voracious insect.
The desert locust is potentially the most dangerous of the locust pests because of the ability of swarms to fly rapidly across great distances. It has two to five generations per year. The last major desert locust upsurge in 2004–05 caused significant crop losses in West Africa and had a negative impact on food security in the region. While the desert locust alone is not responsible for famines, it can be an important contributing factor…
It is estimated that desert locusts consume the equivalent of their body weight (2 g (0.07 oz)) each day in green vegetation. They are polyphagous and feed on leaves, shoots, flowers, fruit, seeds, stems and bark. Nearly all crops, and noncrop plants, are eaten including pearl millet, maize, sorghum, barley, rice, pasture grasses, sugarcane, cotton, fruit trees, date palms, banana plants, vegetables and weeds.
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