Residents of Israel’s south may have found themselves swatting insects over the weekend, as a plague of locusts swarmed the area.
Residents of Israel’s South may have found themselves pestered by pests over the weekend as a veritable plague of locusts swarmed the area.
The cloud of yellow insects flew into the areas surrounding Eilat and the Arava, with some even coming from the sea.
The yellow color is an indication of their age, as these bugs are mature and skilled fliers.
Throughout history, locusts have been symbolic of major devastation. As depicted in legends and ancient texts all over the world, plagues of locusts were said to caused famines, human migrations and untold destruction, the most famous example being the biblical plague of locusts in the Exodus.
This reputation is indeed warranted, as while these swarms normally pose little serious danger to agriculture, they can in fact cause massive swarms should the right conditions emerge.
In fact, locusts swarms remain a problem to this day. In the last two years alone, locust swarms have devastated around 2.25 million hectares of land around the world and left approximately 20.2 million people facing severe and acute food insecurity.
Regardless of their legendary reputations and the sheer size and numbers of the current swarm, the locusts pose no danger to humans or animals whatsoever.
In fact, their presence is actually a huge positive for much of the wildlife, particularly birds.
The swarm comes as huge numbers of migratory birds flock to Israel’s South as they head from their winter homes in Africa to their breeding grounds in Europe and Asia.
This stop on their migratory trip is essential, as these forest birds have just finished crossing the Sahara Desert, 30,000 kilometers devoid of food. The Eilat area, as a result, is their first food stop.
These locusts turned this normal food stop into an all-you-can eat protein buffet. Also by humans? Although many of them even being considered kosher by the Torah, I would be cautious, particularly due to the use of pesticides to control locust populations. Be safe! [JPost]
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