TOWARDS EFFICIENT CONTROL OF LOCUSTS TO AVOID THEIR PLAGUES ON HUMANS: EVOLVING AND APPLYING ADVANCED CONTROL STRATEGIES
Keywords:Locusts, Acrididae, control strategies, swarms, biological control, insecticide
Locusts belong to the group family Acrididae which are short-horned grasshoppers that have a swarming phase. A rapid increase in human population, whereas agricultural land has been used for non-agricultural means as well as for housing and urbanization causes rapid shrinkage of food resources. Locusts produce five times more macronutrients, fats, and minerals per unit of fodder than cattle, and locusts' attack on farm crops dates back to when man began farming. So keeping in view the importance related to consumption and its effect on human life this study was conducted. Conventional and non-conventional strategies are used to control the locusts. Synthetic insecticides have historically been used to control grasshoppers and locusts, and this is unlikely to alter in an emergency. However, the need for biological control is rising as people become more aware of the environmental problems connected to acridid management as well as the high costs of emergency control. The financial and environmental costs of large-scale plague treatments will be decreased, in particular, by preventive, integrated control techniques with early interventions. Moreover, Metarhizium anisopliae, a fungus, and its spores are naturally present in the green muscles of locusts, and germinated on the locust’s skin, could penetrate inside their body through exoskeletons. Ultimately, the tissues of the locust can be destroyed from the inside due to the presence of such fungus. So it is concluded that the overlooked situation of locusts’ swarms may result in the deprivation of a huge population of humans from food and pose severe threats to food security soon. Therefore, it has become imperative to evolve efficient pragmatic strategies beyond the conventional ones to get rid of the locust by avoiding its attack on farm crops, which has lasting implications. Moreover, efforts should be made to exploit the locusts’ swarms entering the food chain by using these in livestock, poultry, and aquaculture feed.
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