As if drought problems weren’t enough already the Karoo has a new problem on their hands, as swarms of brown locusts or Locustana pardalina are slowly but surely filling crops and grazing lands in the area.
South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries confirmed an outbreak of locusts in parts of South Africa including northwestern Karoo and Namibia. While some of the locusts have already been hatched, others are still in the hackling phase, once all of the insects have reached adulthood the area could be in for a serious problem.
Authorities plan to intervene before the locusts are able to spread further in the country and have made six pesticides used to control locusts available in emergency volumes as they prepare to use them before the locusts hatch or during their early hopper stages.
In Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia swarms of locusts have already started wreaking havoc on crops. Kenya has since increased its aerial spraying and the United Nations has urgently appealed for funds to combat the spread of locusts.
An average swarm of locusts can contain up to 40-million insects capable of devouring enough food to feed roughly 34-million people in a single day according to the United Nations News.
Locusts are better dealt with sooner rather than later as their numbers can grow to an unmanageable level very quickly, leaving desolation in their wake. It is not yet known what caused the rapid increase in locust presence in the Karoo.