Spraying continues against locust onslaught

Pesticide dispersal occurs in eight different rounds both on ground and by air, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Locust (photo credit: Yoav Motro/Agriculture Ministry)
(photo credit: Yoav Motro/Agriculture Ministry)
Massive spray operations continued on Monday against the locust onslaught that has plagued Israel for the past week.
Pesticide dispersal occurred in eight different rounds on Monday morning, covering Habesor Stream near Ofakim, olive groves in the Ashalim area, Revivim and Mount Keren, the Agriculture Ministry said. The spraying took place both on the ground and by air, efficiently and effectively, the ministry stressed, noting that its teams are continuing to search through the region for more Acrididae.
The day before, a new swarm of locusts had entered the country from Egypt near Moshav Be’er Malka, heading toward Ashalim and Ofakim in two different bands. This swarm followed a second one that had come in on Friday in the Nitzana area, as well as the initial swarm that swooped into the country at Kadesh Barnea on Tuesday.
The Ramat Hanegev Regional Council has turned to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, requesting he conduct more fastidious spraying operations to ward off the locusts that have overtaken the region.
After locusts began to swarm across the Sinai border and into the Nitzana area in the Negev, Ramat Hanegev Regional Council Chairman Shmuel Rifman sent a letter to Morsi directly, asking the Egyptian president to speed up treatment of the ongoing plague.
Meanwhile, Rifman also turned to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, asking that he acquire authorization from Morsi to bring Israeli pesticide aircraft into Egyptian airspace, according to the letter.
After the buildup of locusts in the region, Moshe Basson of Jerusalem’s Eucalyptus restaurant contacted the regional council on Monday requesting a batch to serve to customers as a delicacy.
However, the council warned that after the heavy pesticides, the locusts may no longer be organic, a regional spokesman said.