A plague of bamboo locusts has continued on its path of destruction across the southern city of Pu’er, a week after the region was put on alert. The invasion of crop-eating pests began causing havoc in the region earlier this month after travelling more than 200 miles from China’s border with Laos.
According to officials at least 8,000 hectares of land has been devastated by the locusts, with 1,400 hectares of vital agriculture including maize, bananas and bamboo destroyed.
China is responsible for around a fifth of the world’s bamboo and it is extensively used in the country to create houses, roads and medicinal purposes.
With woodland under siege, local authorities have deployed drones equipped with pesticides to fire the locusts out of the sky.
Footage from the region shows an aerial drone gliding over tree tops and spraying the buzzing pests.
According to the Pu’er forestry bureau, more than 1,500 flights have been conducted in the region alone.
The official figures also state an astonishing 36 tonnes of insecticide has been used to combat the issue.
Such is the scale of the problem, just less than £1million of funds has also been allocated to the project.
Just last week, the Pu’er forestry authority warned the worst is yet to come with numbers of locusts rising each day.
Locusts have a larva-to-adult life cycle of between 50 and 84 days.
In a notice, the local authority said there is a “high possibility of a disaster” in the country up until September.
It said: “The invasion of the yellow-spined bamboo locusts from abroad is accelerating.
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The United Nations (UN) estimates a swarm of locusts can contain anything between 40-80 million insects.
A swarm in those numbers is capable of digesting the same amount of food in a day as three million people.
Over the past two months, locust invasions have also struck large parts of southern Asia, including neighbouring India and Pakistan.