Locusts arrived in Nepal last weekend!
Locusts are related to grasshoppers and measure 0.5 to 3 inches in length and weigh about 2 grammes
Although they favour dry land with sandy soil to lay and hatch their eggs, monsoon weather brings rain and lots of greenery which they will eat voraciously.
In one phase of their lives they are fairly solitary, but if they become crowded, it causes them to swarm. As one group joins another, the swarm grows and can reach several billion locusts in number, covering hundreds of square miles. They go with the wind and can cover large distances and regularly cross the sea. We have had locust swarms in the UK, the last one being in 1954.
Locusts eat their weight in plants each day and a swarm the size of Paris can eat the same weight of food in one day as half the population of France!
Heavy rain can be a blessing as it weighs down their light bodies making it hard for them to fly.
Several offshoots of the swarms that have drifted up from Arabia have entered western parts of Nepal. Dr. Bimal Nirmal hopes that the rain means that it will be less likely that the locusts will spread too far in Nepal’s mountainous regions. However, there are now several smallish swarms of locusts in several districts in west Nepal along with a group of about 200,000 that reached Kathmandu. About 53 districts have been affected, but only 27 of those have seen swarms which have caused significant damage to crops, with Dang and neighbouring Pyuthan districts being the worst affected so far.
Please pray for a change in the wind direction and for help for those whose crops have been damaged.