Thursday, June 30, 2022

Environmental Impact of Locusts4 min read

locust (Click here for original source image)

Are you aware of the environmental impact of locusts?

What do they do to our land, water, and environment?. The sudden rise in population resulted in massive deforestation and disasters to affect the food supply. While the practice of female infanticide is still prevalent in certain parts of the world, in the Western parts it is now illegal.

Overpopulation of locusts can seriously deplete natural resources and negatively affect agriculture and forestry. They destroy crops by means of their powerful wings, which consume huge amounts of food. This results in a reduction in crop yields and thus contributes to soil depletion. Furthermore, overpopulation of locusts will reduce the productivity of agricultural lands leading to higher cost for food.

Locusts will also eat all the vegetation on the earth. They seek shelter in vacant trees, feeding solely on the food-lacking grasses. This causes a severe decline in the soil’s fertility leading to further agricultural problems and decreases overall food production. They will even destroy houses and other buildings as their nesting sites are extremely easy to locate.

The lack of vegetation on the surface of the earth is another serious problem faced by farmers. They need to make use of chemicals to keep the locusts from growing on their land. These chemicals have the tendency to kill the natural balance on the surface of the earth. This imbalance can result in disastrous effects like floods and drought.

There are other more important impacts of the locusts such as their reproductive capacity. As they lay eggs, they leave an array of scarring effects on the targeted farms. Their ability to lay eggs rapidly affects the entire farming industry since they can disrupt the normal cycle of planting and harvesting.

The lack of food in due to excessive consumption of non-food by the locusts will cause an increase in the cost of agriculture. In extreme cases, farmers might be forced to export their products to meet the rising costs of food. The environmental impact of locusts will therefore be felt if such adverse scenarios occur. This would mean an increase in prices and consequently reduction of income for consumers.

As mentioned earlier, the environmental impact of locusts is greatly aggravated during the time of harvest. Due to the fact that the insects lay their eggs on the surface of the ground, the pesticides used to combat them before the harvest are rendered useless after the death of the insects. This means that farmers must use additional pesticides just to deal with the insects once they begin to appear on the surface of the earth. These pesticides are usually highly toxic, which means they are only meant for the immediate extermination of the existing crop fields not the overall environment at large.

The worst aspect of locusts is that their entire lifecycle depends on sucking up the nutrients from the soil. Since most farmers do not have the time or expertise to sift through the soil and determine what plants are yielding, this task falls on the shoulders of the women of the community. With little knowledge on the best growing conditions for each crop, women are left with nothing but the straw of straws to make their bread.

Aside from affecting the lives of local residents, the insects also bring about a great deal of harm to the agricultural industry itself. Since these locusts feed by sucking up plant juices, any damage done to the crops by the insects results in lowered crop production. This will inevitably have a negative impact on the farmer’s financial situation. This is especially true since many of them lack the expertise to understand how to protect their crops from the effects of locusts.

The worst effect of locusts is their ability to destroy infrastructure. Because of their short time span and extreme power, locusts can seriously damage vital infrastructure such as sewage plants, sewage treatment plants, water treatment centers, reservoirs, and dams. This includes agriculture, which depends largely on these institutions for its survival. When the entire infrastructure is put to ruin due to locusts, the market suffers because land becomes unreliable. Farmers lose their lands, meaning there is no place to grow crops.

Locusts are highly efficient insectivores. They can eat a lot in a short period of time. This has made them one of the most destructive insects ever known to man. But as the threat grows and they become more resilient to their human predators, they are slowly being turned into more beneficial creatures. There is still a long way to go but their role in sustaining our ecosystem is undeniable.

Provided by Antonio Westley

Disclaimer: This article is meant to be seen as an overview of this subject and not a reflection of viewpoints or opinions as nothing is definitive. So, make sure to do your research and feel free to use this information at your own discretion.

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