Locust Attack's  SOLUTIONS | UPSCMost Effective Ways To Overcome Locust Attack’s Problem | UPSC


Everything about desert locusts — and how to control them amid COVID-19 crisis

      WHY IN NEWS:

The unprecedented behaviour of desert locusts is a cause of concern, for India is facing the worst locust attack in about 27 years.



For PRELIMS this article will render most easily available solutions for Locust attack.

For MAINS we have to understand the genesis of the issue . Let us dive in !


  From Yemen to Indo-Pakistan border, how the swarms made way into India — and how the situation should be monitored

Locusts at a Rajasthan village. Photo: Mool Ram Saran

  • DESTRUCTION : Locust invasions are dramatic and sudden — and they destroy everything green that comes in their way.
  • GROWTH : Heavy rains triggered the growth of vegetation in arid areas of southern Iran and southwest Pakistan where locusts then grew and bred.
  • MIGRATION : These locusts migrated to India in early 2020 and found greener pastures due to pre-monsoon rains in March-May.
  • MOVEMENT : Locust are short-horned grasshoppers move together as bands and swarm over long distances crossing over countries and continents rapidly.
  • LIFE CYCLE : They take rapid advantage of the climate and geography, survive in temperature range of 0-60 degrees Celsius and prolong or cut short their life cycle.
  • SUCCESSION : During the course of one or two successive generations, they change in shape and colour to become bold yellow from the neutral brown.


  ORIGIN : Cyclones Mekunu (May) and Luban (October) of 2018 hit the Arabian Peninsula and caused unusual spell of rain in the deserts of Somalia, Oman and Yemen.

  • FAVOURABLE CONDITIONS :  Extended humid conditions gave rise to favourable breeding conditions for locusts for almost nine months, which remained undetected and hence, uncontrolled.
  • JANUARY 2019 :  first swarms of locusts left the Empty Quarter desert to Yemen, Saudi Arabia and southwest Iran.
  • FEBRUARY TO JUNE 2019 : Widespread spring breeding in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran led to the formation of a large numbers of swarms.
  • UNSUCCESSFUL OPERATIONS : But control operations were largely unsuccessful in Iran and Yemen.
  • JUNE-DECEMBER 2019: Swarms invaded the Indo-Pakistan border from Iran; up to three generations grew in the summer breeding in India.

  CYCLONIC EFFECT : Owing to the three cyclones in the Arabian Sea — Vayu (June 10-17), Hikaa (September 22-25) and Kyarr (October 24-November 1) — and early monsoon rains, widespread rains took place between June and November, particularly in locust-infested areas.

  • GREEN VEGETATION : These extended rains created excellent breeding conditions and led to the development of lush green vegetation in Rajasthan and Gujarat, on which the locusts could feed.
  • PINK SWARMS : In October, more locust swarms arrived from the west and laid eggs that upon getting congenial environmental conditions, developed into pink swarms.


  • ROBUST APPROACH : A robust approach by the Union government agencies and various departments of states is required for effective desert locust control.
  • EARLY STAGE : Locusts are most vulnerable when they are in the hopper stage.

  MINIMISE PESTICIDES : To minimise environmental damages, pesticides, which are active for a short time, should be used.

  • LIVESTOCK PRECAUTIONS : At the same time, farmers should be advised to not take their livestock for grazing in area being sprayed on with pesticide for at least one week.
  • WARNING : The Locust Warning Organisation deals with locust crisis in India.
  • RESOURCE MOBILISATION :As part of the locust control measure, the central government deployed multiple resources and established temporary control camps.
  • DRONES : Drones will also be used to spray pesticides on tall trees and inaccessible places for effective control of locusts.
  • AERIAL SPRAY : Plans to deploy helicopters for aerial spray are afoot.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 


  India has also proposed a trilateral initiative with Pakistan and Iran for effective locust control.

  • TRACKING : The Indian Meteorological Department should provide the wind pattern data for proper tracking of the movement of locust swarms.
  • PROTECTIVE GEARS : Some of them include wearing face masks, hand gloves, personal protective equipment, washing hands, observing social distancing and observing personal hygiene to protect.
     SOURCES:DOWNTOEARTH |Most Effective Ways To Overcome Locust Attack’s Problem | UPSC




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