Israel is on high alert for a possible mass invasion – by locusts.
Israel’s Agriculture Ministry issued a “locust alert” yesterday after residents along the nation’s coast reported seeing the creatures eating at area vegetation. The ministry has been worried about desert locust swarms making their way across northern Africa, and said that if the critters do arrive, they are well-prepared.
The ministry briefly toured the Palmahim, Tel Aviv and Holon areas last night and said they believe there are currently only tens or hundreds of locusts in the area, but teams of experts will be sent to the areas to examine the situation more thoroughly.
Chief entomologist and head of the Department for Protection of Plants Service at the Agriculture Ministry Zvi Klein said yesterday swarms of locusts are currently berating Morocco are probably won’t reach the Holy Land.
“If there are no drastic changes we are not in danger. … We have, of course, prepared for the eventuality anyway and are ready with teams of experts,” said Klein.
Swarms of the suspected desert locust landed recently in Lebanon and western Cyprus, where extensive crop damage has been reported. The movement of the locusts is mostly dictated by the direction and force of winds in the region.
The last major invasion by locusts into Israel was in 1959, when swarms from Africa crossed the Red Sea and spread up the Saudi coast toward Jordan and Israel.