Are locust plagues unstoppable?

11 min Source: TED TALK

BLUF

A single swarm of locusts can number in the billions and eat and destroy vast amounts of field crops.

Summary

This TED talk makes the following points:
  • desert locust swarm has no leader or strategic plan; its only goals are to eat, breed, and move on.
  • Locusts are infamous for their massive swarms and capacity to turn pastures and farms into barren wastelands.
  • Desert locusts lay eggs in damp soil in arid regions.
  • They will spend a few weeks foraging for plants during the dry weather before growing wings, reproducing, and dying.
  • When an area receives an abundance of rain, more vegetation grows, leading to large groups feeding closely together. 
  • These groups merge into bands of millions, which virtually eat all plant life in their path.
  • A swarm can travel up to 150 km a day and can also cross large bodies of water. 
  • In 1988, a swarm managed to cross the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • Their habitat spans some of the world's poorest countries.
  • By consuming crops and pastures, these insects directly endanger 10% of humanity.
Note the link to Transcript Locust Plagues.
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