Locust Plague Spreads to Europe

July 22, 2020

After ravaging countries in Africa, the Middle East, and India, swarms of locust have now made their way to Europe as the Italian region of Sardinia recently saw its worst attack in 70 years. Around 30 000 ha (74 000 acres) of crops have been affected in Nuoro City alone, according to the Italian Journalist Agency (AGI).

“When the locusts arrived in mid-May, my cabbages were small, it wasn’t harvesting time yet, they were all still in the field. Then the swarm came through, started to devour all the leaves, leaving only the stem,” a Sardinian farmer named Giovanni said.

“Instead of abandoning the crop to them, I preferred to pick it in advance and donate it to a charity for people in need.” Giovanni’s farm, along with 200 others, has been affected by the plague, which has destroyed fields, grasslands, pastures, and invaded gardens.

“The locusts feed on the most protein-rich part of the plants, so once the swarm enters the hayfield, there is nothing left for the flock,” said Alessandro, a local shepherd. “I can see it from the seagulls roaming my land: they come here to look for locusts and find plenty of them.”

In Nuoro City, eastern-central Sardinia, locusts have been ravaging the Tirso Valley and has so far affected 30 000 ha (74 000 acres).

The most affected companies are in the municipalities of Ottana, Orotelli, Oniferi, Orani, Illorai, Bolotana, Silanus, and Sedillo, AGI reported. The insects have also arrived in a part of the Escalaplano countryside.

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