Desert locusts run after rains and greenery. They follow the wind patterns to cover a vast stretch from the Rab’ al-Khali desert of Saudi Arabia to the fields of Rajasthan and beyond. Desert locusts are feeding and breeding in agricultural fields, the basis of human civilization. At least five states in India are currently facing the grave threat of wide-scale crop destruction due to an unusual locust attack.
Desert locusts are grasshoppers. But they differ from regular grasshoppers in being short-horned and highly migratory in nature. Their life span is just 90 days.
Each flock of desert locusts is called a swarm. But the locusts have not reached adulthood and are in the nymphal stage of life, the group is called band. Around 80 lakh locusts can be in a swarm. They stay together, they feed together and they breed together.
Desert locusts are voracious eaters. They eat food equal to their body weight every day.
This is what they are doing in the fields of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and also Uttar Pradesh.
As they feed, they breed, with very high fertility in a geometrical pattern. When they migrate, they raid green crops. Their migration follows the path of the prevailing wind.