Thousands of crop-destroying desert locusts were seen in the sky in Gurugram today as residents rushed to shut their windows and doors to prevent the insects from entering their houses. Many residents made clanging noises by beating utensils to ward the insects off while other areas bellowed sirens from their buildings.
The Gurugram administration had issued an advisory recently that people must keep their windows shut and make noise by clanging tin boxes, utensils and dhol so that locusts can't settle at a place.
Farmers were also asked to keep their pumps (for insecticide spray) ready so that they can be used when needed while the administration asked employees of agriculture department to spread awareness on locusts in villages.
India has not seen locust swarms on this scale since 1993 when it experienced a widespread plague, the warning centre had said. Wind patterns have been pushing the swarms southwest, the locust warning centre added.
Multiple videos shot by residents of Gurugram city and villages in the district this morning show massive clusters of locusts flying in.
Massive swarms of desert locusts have been destroying crops in many parts of western and central India, spearing into Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab now, after Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. The central government has set up 11 control rooms to coordinate the response.
Locusts form swarms in Africa and fly from Iran, Pakistan to India. They are known to have an enormous appetite. They eat plants and can wreck massive damage to crops in days if left unchecked. The worst insect invasion in nearly three decades has already caused massive damage to seasonal crops, crippling Indian farmers struggling with the impact of a months-long national coronavirus lockdown.