ScienceSQ

What Are Locusts And Why Do They Swarm?

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Locust swarm can be seen worldwide, but in some areas, they are present in high numbers.

When joined in hundreds, locust swarms can cause complex agricultural, social, and international challenges.

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Locust swarm may seem tiny, but imagine hundreds of them – it means that they can destroy many acres of crops in a short period of time, devastating the livelihoods of farmers and compromising a community’s food supply.

They often live for several generations in solitary, but their behavior changes when they come together.

According to Hojun Song, an entomologist at Texas A&M University, they can sense when their population density begins to increase, and in response, they become attracted to each other and gregarious. Together, they eat more and develop faster.

For them to thrive, they need certain conditions. For example, they love sudden rainfall, because it can help feed a growing population and even cause flooding. So, what may have started as a small group, can easily turn into a thrumming swarm of thousands, millions, or even billions of locusts.

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