Ad Banner

Desert Locusts FAQ | Insects Attack


What are Desert Locusts?

Not long ago, 360 billion desert locusts from Africa have reached Pakistan and India, and are close to China and Japan. This kind of locust is very prolific, so it is very difficult to prevent and control. Some people have proposed to solve it by eating.

Introduction of Desert Locust


1. Is the desert locust poisonous?

Desert locusts are poisonous. Especially for locusts after taking off in groups, the toxin will increase. When in danger, the desert locusts will secrete stupid acetonitrile. This is highly toxic. 

After the locusts die, they will be converted into another substance, hydrocyanic acid. Also known as hydrogen cyanide, the clinical manifestation of acute hydrogen cyanide poisoning is that the patient has obvious bitter almond smell in exhaled breath. Mild poisoning mainly manifests as chest tightness, palpitations, increased heart rate, headache, nausea, vomiting, and blurred vision. 

The main manifestations of severe poisoning are deep coma, shallow breathing, paroxysmal convulsions, and even tonic spasm.

Solitary and gregarious Deserrt Losusts

2. What do the desert locusts mainly eat and grow up on?

Desert locusts have a wide range of edible diets, such as cotton, alfalfa, various soybeans, wheat, barley, corn, flax, tobacco, tomatoes, potatoes, melons (melon, watermelon, cucumber, etc.). 

Also eat camel thorns and other labiatae in wild plants, as well as wild and cultivated woody plants such as grapes, barberry, apricots, cherries, almonds, mulberries, citrus, dates, figs, pomegranates, Papaya and other trees.

2. Can people eat desert locusts?

Artificially-raised desert locusts can be eaten, but not directly. Generally, the locusts just after hatching are free of toxins and can be eaten, but if they are taken off after swarms, the toxins will increase and are not suitable for consumption.

Because the desert locust carries a virus, when it is in danger, the desert locust secretes stupid acetonitrile. This is highly toxic. After the locust is dead, it will be converted into another substance, hydrocyanic acid, also known as hydrogen cyanide. 

The clinical manifestation of hydrogen cyanide poisoning is that the patient has obvious bitter almond smell in exhaled breath. 
Mild poisoning mainly manifests as chest tightness, palpitations, increased heart rate, headache, nausea, vomiting, and blurred vision.

The main manifestations of severe poisoning are deep coma, shallow breathing, paroxysmal convulsions, and even tonic spasm. It was used as a gas bomb in World War II.

The desert locust itself is a blind medicine. It can be used in medicine. The usage of locusts at different maturity stages are different, and the processing methods are also different. Scorpion centipedes are more poisonous and can be used as medicine. Just use the appropriate method.

Insect desert locusts entering Asia simulation

3. Can the desert locust enter Asia?

Desert locusts may enter countries like India and China. The person in charge of the Plantation Management Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on the 16th that considering the barriers of the Kunlun Mountains and the Himalayas in the Chinese border area, it is difficult for locusts to cross high-altitude cold regions.

"As far as the current locust plagues in China’s neighboring countries Pakistan and India are concerned, the newly hatched weak insects are temporarily beyond the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Even if they become adults after a period of time, they may fly to Tibet, but Tibet’s high altitude does not yet Too much impact on Chinese agriculture. "Zhang Zehua said.

Zhang Zehua said that according to the previous migration routes, the locust swarms that began in Africa this year will still arrive in Pakistan and India in May and June.
After confluence with the local locusts, they will further spread throughout India, Bangladesh and, At that time coincided with the monsoon season in China, locusts may enter Yunnan with the monsoon.

"Previously, the prevention and control of locust disasters only focused on the north and west gates of China. Now we need to add the south gate."
Zhang Zehua said that the raging and moving routes of the desert locusts reminded China that it needs to strengthen the monitoring of locust disasters in the southwest border area.

Image showing 2 Desert Locusts

It was found in time to strengthen research on the prevention and control methods of the desert locust, a species of locust that has not become a disaster in China, to eliminate the locust disaster in the bud, and to strengthen international cooperation.

At present, Chinese officials have paid close attention to the locust plagues that have ravaged the world. They proposed that they will closely track the dynamics of locust disasters abroad, and arrange for plant protection professionals to strengthen the monitoring of locusts in border areas. They will strictly prevent the migration of overseas desert locusts into hazards, and do a good job in preventing locusts inside and outside China Prepare for control.

According to the analysis of monitoring and dispatching by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, the probability of desert locusts harming China is very small, and the risk of large-scale outbreaks of locusts is low.

In short, the desert locusts cannot eat and may enter Asia, so Asian countries should also start to take preventive measures in advance.

Swarm of  Desert Locusts Attacking

Desert locusts are making a comeback, and there are several reasons why Asian Countries cannot be harmed

Do you remember? During the last locust plague in Pakistan, China sent a team of experts to support the eradication. At the same time, it was also reported online that in order to prevent locusts from attacking China, a 100,000 duck army was also sent to the border to stand by.

Fortunately, China is safe

But the locusts did not give up. They calmed down and then made a comeback. It is said that the number may increase by 20 times.

According to Chinese media report, Shi Wangpeng, a professor at the College of Plant Protection of China Agricultural University, said that from the information released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, this locust plague is the continuation of the last locust plague in March.

Small locusts have been unearthed, and a group of remaining locusts are still migrating in large quantities.

Particularly severe is that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations issued a warning that if the prevention and control measures are not effective, the number of locusts may increase by a factor of 20 as the rainy season approaches.

In other words, it will be more difficult by then.

In Pakistan, someone knocked on a basin to drive out locusts

Locusts are very destructive. It is said that in Pakistan last time, swarms of locusts were flying over the field, and the potato seedlings planted in the field were eaten incompletely, and almost no complete leaves were found. Agricultural crops such as wheat have been severely damaged and have suffered great losses.

Fortunately, however, did not come to China. If the number is increased to 20 times this time, will it come? In this regard, some experts gave the answer.
A Huge swarm of desert locusts

Shi Wangpeng said that the chance of coming is very small

The reason! First of all, there is no record of the outbreak of desert locusts in China.
Secondly, it is difficult for desert locusts to cross the high mountain barrier between China and South Asia, Southeast Asia, and West Asia, so they should not migrate on a large scale.
 It is difficult to find desert climate conditions suitable for survival.

Based on these factors, expert Shi Wangpeng said that the probability of desert locusts invading our country is very small.

What Research is going on about Desert Locusts?

Chinese scientists use remote sensing technology to study the flight path of desert locust.

Recently, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) issued an early warning to the world, hoping that all countries will be highly alert to the locust plague that is raging, and adopt multi-national joint prevention and control measures to prevent serious food crises from invading countries.

Since the second half of 2018, desert locusts have gradually swept across the Horn of Africa and countries in Southwest Asia, severely endangering agricultural production and food security in Pakistan, Ethiopia, Somalia and other countries. 

Recently, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) issued an early warning to the world, hoping that all countries will be highly alert to the locust plague that is raging, and adopt multi-national joint prevention and control measures to prevent serious food crises from invading the country.


Where did the desert locust come from? Where did they fly?

Researcher Huang Wenjiang and Associate Researcher Dong Yingying of the Institute of Aerospace Information Innovation, Chinese Academy of Sciences have been engaged in locust remote sensing monitoring and prediction research for many years. 


Recently, the team used low- and medium-resolution satellite imagery as the main remote sensing data source, combined with ground survey data such as locust invasion and reproduction released by FAO, land use / cover data, temperature and monsoon, etc., to the raging Horn of Africa and Southwest Asia.

The research on the spatial and temporal distribution of desert locust reproduction and migration in various countries and the prediction path of desert locust migration and invasion in China and Pakistan border:
In 2018, heavy rainfall in the southern Arabian Peninsula provided favorable habitat conditions for the breeding and reproduction of desert locusts. 

From the picture above, it can be seen that in 2019, locust swarms in Yemen and Oman began to invade eastern Saudi Arabia and southern Iran, and then entered southwestern Pakistan from Iran. 
At the same time, the desert locusts on the India-Pakistan border continue to hatch and colonize.

From January 2020 to the present, the locust colonies on the border between India and Pakistan have begun to multiply for three generations. 

Due to the influence of the northeast monsoon, the locust colonies will migrate to Iran and Oman and other countries. 
The probability of entering the country is small. But in summer, regarding the desert locusts in Pakistan and India there is still no effective control. 

The southwest Indian Ocean monsoon is exceptionally strong. There is a risk that it will enter our country and threaten our food security. Therefore, China needs to strengthen field pest monitoring and carry out early scientific control.

Integration of multiple technologies to support locust monitoring and early warning

Food security has always been a hot topic of concern to the international community. In the context of global climate change, the scope and prevalence of insect pests have clearly expanded and strengthened. 

The locust is one of the major migratory pests in the world. For our country, the East Asian migratory locust has always been an important factor restricting China's food security, ecological security, farmers' income increase and social stability.

There are two types of locusts in East Asia this year that need to be focused on

In recent years, changes in the area and distribution of locust areas have led to an increase in the frequency of locusts, and new areas due to new reservoirs, water conservation areas, extensive farming, and mining areas Increase the locust area. Desert locusts are the main cause of damage in Africa and Southwest Asia.

The traditional method of single-point monitoring of insect pests by hand and the meteorological data prediction method of limited sites can only obtain information on the occurrence of pests at "points", which is far from meeting the large-scale and timely needs for pest control on "surfaces". 

Compared with traditional insect pest field survey techniques, remote sensing can effectively and objectively monitor and predict the occurrence and development of insect pests on a large scale, which is of great practical significance for efficient scientific prevention and control.

The rapid development of earth observation technology in recent years has provided effective technical means for the wide-scale monitoring and early warning of locusts. 

Satellite remote sensing data such as domestic high score (GF) series and environmental disaster mitigation (HJ) series, US MODIS and Landsat TM, ESA Sentinel series, etc. Earth observation system.

In addition, the constantly updated encrypted weather station data and the meteorological parameter products formed by the coupling of remote sensing and meteorological data provide a richer source of information for the monitoring of locust habitat (the environment on which locusts live and live).

At present, the development of multi-source information fusion algorithms helps to make full use of the complementary information in multi-source heterogeneous data to form a spatio-temporal continuous data set with higher resolution and accuracy.

In addition, with the continuous deepening of the research on the biological characteristics of locusts, the understanding of their development and diffusion process and environmental impact factors has been continuously improved. 

Description of occurrence and development of locusts

So now the occurrence and development of locusts can be described and simulated by means of models, providing a model for locust monitoring and early warning. Method guidance and technical support.

The research team of Huang Wenjiang and Associate Researcher Dong Yingying of the Institute of Aerospace Science and Technology have done a lot of work in the field of locust remote monitoring and prediction research for many years. They established a remote sensing monitoring model for plant diseases and insect pests based on satellite remote sensing, and realized remote sensing monitoring and mapping for large areas of pests and diseases.

Through the integration of multi-source data of satellite and ground such as remote sensing, meteorology and plant protection, and organic links with the epidemic mechanism of plant diseases and insect pests, a large area of ​​crop plant diseases and insect pests was established Forecasting model.

The team used medium and high-resolution satellite images as the main remote sensing data source, combined with land use / cover data, meteorological data, ground survey data, etc., to quantitatively extract and analyze the key factors closely related to the occurrence and distribution of locusts according to the occurrence and development characteristics of locusts. 

Such as terrain, soil type, soil moisture, surface temperature, vegetation type, vegetation coverage, etc., coupled with pest biological mechanism and pest occurrence and diffusion model, carry out remote sensing monitoring and early warning of locust occurrence and development, and combined with ground survey data for analysis and verification.

The African desert locusts are making a comeback again. They can’t come to your country, so it’s a good thing. What do you guys say? 

You may post your comments below:

Post a comment

0 Comments