Agriculture Ministry: More locusts swarm into Israel

Aerial and ground spraying has largely worked thus far in eradicating the swarms from Sinai.

March 13, 2013 03:00
1 minute read.
Agriculture Ministry spraying locusts with pesticides.

Agriculture Ministry spraying locusts 370. (photo credit: Agriculture Ministry/Moshe Weiss)

Additional bands of locusts entered Israel throughout the day on Tuesday, marking a week since the first wave of bugs flew across the Sinai border and landed here.

Two swarms swooped in on Tuesday afternoon in the Revivim and Kama areas, following another fresh pack that entered through Kadesh Barnea a few hours before, the Agriculture Ministry reported.

These arrivals were just several hours after ministry workers had finished spraying swarms that had entered the country yesterday in the Ramat Hanegev and Eshkol regions, the office said.

No preventative pesticide can be used in advance of a locust’s arrival, and effective spraying can only occur once the insects are settled on the ground for the night or in the early morning before they fly off, the ministry explained.

While individual locusts have made appearances all over the country, the aerial and ground spraying has largely worked thus far in eradicating the swarms, the office stressed. Individual locusts are not harmful to humans, and they only pose a threat to agricultural plots in large swarms.

The chemicals being used to combat the locusts are of a “soft pesticide” type and have no effects on other animals, preying upon the locusts only and leaving no residue – as the pesticide breaks down quickly, according to the ministry. Due to this spraying, there has not yet been any significant harm to crops, but if agricultural damage was to occur, the farmers are protected by risk insurance.

The Agriculture Ministry said it would continue to work around the clock to monitor the situation in Egypt as well as the wind direction, the office said.

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