According to the New Indian Express, several areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in Pakistan, have reported crop loss as biblical swarms of insects have posed a serious threat to Pakistan’s food basket. Millions of locusts are expected over the next two weeks.
Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhr Imam, said the government is keeping an eye on the movement of the locusts.
Mr Imam believes the desert locusts are entering Pakistan from four countries including Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti via Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iran.
Over the next two weeks, Mr Imam claims new swarms will enter Balochistan from Iran, an area that has been one of the worst hit across the country.
According to reports, ground operation against the swarms of locusts have been carried out over 85,000 hectares by ground teams.
Aerial sprays have been carried out over around 500 hectares.
As fears the bugs will travel to India due to monsoon winds, an expert believes Pakistan “holds the key” to stopping the locusts.
Locust Warning Organisation deputy director KL Gurjar told ET: “Pakistan holds the key.
“If they eliminate locust swarms at their side of the border, we will not have any threat.
READ MORE: New biblical locust plague sees huge swarm devastate Pakistan
In May, the coast of India was struck by Cyclone Amphan and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation believed the movement of locusts was caused by the strong westerly winds.
It was reported the millions of locusts devoured around 50,000 hectares of crops.
Warnings were raised concerning the summer crops if the locusts are not controlled.
Pesticides have been sprayed by tractors and fire engines to target the bugs in trees.
Farmers have reportedly been playing loud music in the fields in order to stop the locusts from destroying the crops.
An official in Barmer, Rajasthan, said at the time: “We are hoping to contain it in the next 10 days.
“Our officials are out spraying pesticides early in the morning.
“This year, they are younger, immature adults who fly faster and cover distances of up to 150km per day.”
The locust invasions come as a heatwave has sent temperatures to 122F (50C) in some places while the capital New Delhi saw its hottest May day since 2002.
India’s Meteorological Department said the hot spell was forecast to last several more days and warned of “severe heatwave conditions in isolated pockets”.
Churu in Rajasthan recorded temperatures of 122F (50C) yesterday while parts of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh sweltered just below that level.
Anshu Sharma of Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society, a non-profit disaster management organisation, said India face a number of challenges in the months ahead.