New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Swarms of locust on Saturday entered Delhi after wreaking havoc in Gurugram. The skies over Gurugram turned dark as swarms of locusts descended on the town, forcing people to close the windows of their houses.

The swarms were witnessed in many parts of Gurugram, including Rajendra Park of sector 5, Surqt Nagar, Dhanwapur, Palam Vihar, Maruti factory in sector 18, Sector 17 DLF phase 1 and many other places in old and new Gurugram, leaving people in shock.

How can we control the locust crisis?

According to a study by the World Economic Forum, swarms of locust interact with two neighbours simultaneously. The study claimed that locust won’t be able to reproduce without the two neighbours. 

The study, which was published in Physical Review E, further claimed that small groups of locust move around in a ring at random while larger groups move together in the same direction and the groups will spontaneously switch their positions to move in the other direction.

The study said that locust moves more randomly “when they don’t have near neighbours”. It claimed that the locust crisis can be controlled if the randomness or “noise” a swarm experience is increased.

“This idea might be harnessed as a swarm-management strategy, using low-flying planes to create atmospheric disturbance to disrupt locusts,” the study claimed.   

The study, however, claimed that it might be a bit difficult to control the locust in this way as they can fly up to two kilometres in the air and can cover several hundred square kilometres.

According to the research, burning tyres to create an exclusion zone, catching them in nets, digging trenches and using insecticide can be useful in controlling the locust but it won’t be able to halt the progress of the swarms.     

“Currently, the most commonly used control is insecticide. Sprayed from land or aerial vehicles, whole swarms can be targeted in relatively short periods. However, this has led to some environmental concerns,” the study said.  

Currently, India is facing the worst locust attack in recent years. The desert locust is a species of locust, a swarming short-horned grasshopper and poses an unprecedented threat to food supply and livelihoods of millions of people. 

Locust swarms from have entered Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh and are destroying crops in the region. Rajasthan is the worst affected state by the menace, 

Looking at the situation, the central government has said it would see effective spraying of insecticides through helicopter drones which will remain located on the border to curb the breeding and the incoming swarms of the pests from the neighbouring country.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma