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Billions of locusts invade southern Israel

By Mason White 2:00 PM May 8, 2013
Locusts invade Israel 

By: Shifra Unger
(Scroll down for video) Israel might not be worried from the weakened Syrian army after its recent attacks in the country, but it faces a massive attack in the southern part of the country from an army of locusts.

Billions of locusts were seen on Monday in several places in southern Israel. Ramat Negev Regional Council said that officials have lost control over the grasshoppers and preventive spraying measures have failed.

The head of Ramat Negev Regional Council asked Agriculture Minister Shmulik Rifman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to hand over the mission to the army. “It’s an agricultural and ecological disaster,” he said.
A meeting was held with the appropriate authorities at which proposals were given how to contain the locusts.

The locusts first arrived in Israel in early March. Immediately after the arrival, hundreds of thousands of acres were sprayed, however, these actions did not prevent the grasshoppers from mating. Eggs began hatching two weeks ago, and locusts are spreading throughout southern Israel.

Farmers in the western Negev are concerned about the fate of their crops. Locust swarms threaten all the farms in the area. Within a week, the crickets cold start flying in the area of ​​green farmland and destroy large agricultural production land in the region, mainly potatoes and carrots.

The Ministry of Agriculture began monitoring the locusts and started spraying operations as swarms spread over an area of ​​1.2 million hectares in the western Negev.

“Just when we all forgot about the locusts with the end of the Passover holiday they suddenly came roaring back. I hope that officials will be able to get rid of the pest quickly and with minimal damage,” Ethel Webb, 40, of Ashdod, Israel told after learning about the locusts.

The Ministry of Agriculture said it currently believes that it will be able to combat the locusts.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view