Desert locusts invade Maharashtra's Vidarbha region

Anvita Srivastava
Tuesday, 26 May 2020

The swarm of desert locust which was previously seen in states including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, has finally entered Maharashtra and was spotted in some villages of Nagpur and Wardha on Monday.

Pune: The swarm of desert locust which was previously seen in states including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, has finally entered Maharashtra and was spotted in some villages of Nagpur and Wardha on Monday.

However, as per the agriculture department, since there were not much-standing crops, the damage is not much. However, the State Agriculture Department has issued the advisory of spraying of necessary insecticides and also various other ways to control the insects.

"The swarm of locust has come from Madhya Pradesh to Morshi in Amravati district and from there it entered Katol tehsil of Nagpur. However, not much damage has been caused as there were not much standing crops. These locusts migrate during the day time while stay in one place during the night. They have a voracious diet and can feed on green vegetation. We have also initiated the spraying of chemicals and spoken to the farmers educating them about how to control these locusts," said Milind Shende, District Superintendent Agriculture Officer, Nagpur.

ADVISORY ISSUED

"The desert locust swarm was seen in a few villages of Wardha and Katol tehsil of Nagpur on Monday. The department has already issued an advisory about the spraying of insecticide to control this swarm when it entered Morshi in Amravati district. All the villages have been put on alert. Since it comes in huge numbers and has a voracious diet, chemical spray is the best way to control them," said Suhas Divase, State Agriculture Commissioner.

Its voracious diet can cause huge damage to crops.

"Locust belong to the grasshopper family; however, when it is solitary, it is not that dangerous. However, this desert locust is in gregarious phase and travels in the swarm of lakhs and crores. It migrates usually in the direction in which wind flows and are diurnal (active in the day time). They have a huge feeding capacity and can feed on every green vegetation. High temperature is more ideal for these locusts. Its voracious diet and gregarious phase is extremely dangerous and can cause huge damage to the crops and vegetation," Dr BB Bhosale, entomologist and former director, extension, Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth, Parbhani.

“Since it is in a huge number spraying of the chemical can control them. It is important to do the spraying at the district or village level for better results. There are other ways also by which farmers can control is by making sound or lighting fire,” he added.

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