Suitable Conditions for Locusts to have a Swarming phase.

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June 04, 2020, The Liberacy:- Suitable Conditions for Locusts can be categorised, once we know what is the history and how their population got so dense.
Locusts are classified as short-horned insects native to Grasshopper family. Locusts are closely related to the Acrididae sect, which is the predominant type in the Grasshopper family.
It is this closeness of Locusts to the Acrididae that has caused the Swarms because the Acrididae family has the Swarming phase at suitable conditions.

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Suitable Conditions for Locusts
Suitable Conditions for Locusts

But what are these Suitable Conditions for Locusts to have a Swarming phase?

Locusts are usually considered to live a solitary life, that is they prefer to live a lonely life. They turn gregarious with drought conditions followed by rapid vegetation growth.
This is the most important condition that makes “Serotonin” (5-HT) in their brain to trigger a dramatic set of changes and makes them gregarious.
5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT/Serotonin) is a monoamine neurotransmitter that invokes as a contributor to feelings of “Well-being and Happiness” in Locusts.

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What happens once they gain these changes?

Once they become gregarious, they start more breeding. A female adult locust can lay 80-90 eggs thrice in its life-cycle of three months.
They become Nomadic as there is a sudden boost in the population and have enough density.
After going through the above initial stage they form bands of wingless Nymphs, and at a faster rate they gain the phase of “Winged Adult”, and this when they start to form Swarms.
The Swarms of Winged Adult Locusts travel at a speed of 150 km/day, across borders they attack to eat vegetation.
1 square km of locust can eat crop fields that can be used as food for about 30000 people.
An adult locust can eat as much as its weight in a day.
Locusts are Harmless to Humans.

Locust Control Measures in India presently.

Spraying of insecticide containing an appropriate quantity of Metarhizium Anisopilae Fungus is used, which is organic in nature.
Organochlorine, Organophosphate, Carbamates, and Synthetic Pyrethroids are some of the other chemicals used for spraying on Locusts to kill them.
At the hilltops or mountainous ranges, drones are used to spray such chemicals.

Chances are that if not controlled in the early phase, these locusts will boost its population with the arrival of Monsoon in India, as it is when they start laying eggs.

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