> The windscreen wipers were not able to clear the windshield anymore. The crew went around, climbed to 8500 feet, depressurized the aircraft, opened the cockpit side window and cleaned the windscreen by hand. The same happened on second approach to Dire Dawa. The crew again climbed to 8500 feet, cleaned the windscreen by hand again and diverted to Addis Ababa.
So, in normal circumstances, grasshoppers are benign but under certain conditions, they can form swarms.
The rubbing of back legs in nature happens when you have high dense populations - overcrowding due to rushing for limited food in an area. Which evolving wings and flying elsewhere would be nature at play.
Real trick would be to curtail grasshopper numbers before they swarm and perhaps a more balanced approach to grasshoppers natural enemies and encouraging habits for those will do well. Chemicals for me are a desperate solution to a problem that got overlooked. Much the same way that ant do wonders with many pests for plants, yet production methods end up curtailing environments that see them thrive in area's that would benefit. So we end up with chemicals for things like aphids when ants will eat them all up for you.
Crop insurance seems like a more tractable solution.
As for stopping them, I would try covering a wide enough area with a giant electric net (just like those insects killers) also placing additional screening nets on the upper and lower side so that the screens would keep birds away, and the actual electric net would have its holes large enough so that smaller insects would remain mostly untouched. The idea is that if they're stupid enough, they will eat all crops in vicinity then eventually die attempting to attack the only remaining field.
Locusts and Grasshoppers are different insects.
"Locusts are a collection of certain species of short-horned grasshoppers in the family Acrididae that have a swarming phase."
They are grasshoppers that have decided to change behaviour and physical characteristics for some reason. They used to be considered different species.
The ants species I know of "milk" aphids for their sugary excretion, and as a counter service, protect aphids from their predators (such as ladybugs). It's... complicated. I agree with you that chemicals shouldn't be the first thing to reach for. It's interesting to try to find out how we got into this situation in the first place. The book Seeing like a State (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seeing_Like_a_State) has some interesting (but opiniated, in my opinion) notes on disastrous (on many axes - socially, economically, ecologically, ...) modernist agricultural reform programs that took place in Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia in the second half of the 20th century — a region much affected by these locust clouds.
If true, this seems very effective for economic terrorism. I wonder why thats not more common.
By stocking a sufficient population early on, in sufficient confinement,, it might be possible to create a perpetuating, expanding, swarm.
As a form of terrorism, well you would still need to bread and or/find a huge swarm of grasshoppers and if you found such a size large enough, they would already naturally be swarming. Though the prospect of some terrorist group breaking grasshoppers has an edge of Chris Morris about it that bemuses me.
Maybe target them with commercials for pro-depressants? Feeling restless, gregarious, like you just might take ravenous flight? Ask your locust doctor if pro-depressants are right for you.
Then we just need some sexually attractive locusts to lobby the locust doctors and problem solved!
Also an impressive feat of weather modelling, however. This is from May 2019, apparently before the strong IOD event had fully formed, and before the bushfire crisis hit.
This is from last month and shows what happened with it
And they were right about the effects on rainfall while it was in place.
There is no more ferocious predator than humans. If they became a delicacy all over the world they wouldn't stand a chance in hell.
According to the wikipedia article: "Locusts yield about five times more edible protein per unit of fodder than cattle, and produce lower levels of greenhouse gases in the process."
Reuse of the same equipment to dry the insects might be doable.
Here's this quote from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/gro...: "Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day, so a swarm of such size would eat 423 million pounds of plants every day." This is describing a swarm a "mere" 460 sq miles in size.
For context - there are 4 billion IPv4 addresses in total if that helps with scale of things for some.
The traditional village that is the subject of the (fictional) story sees swarms as a blessing -- they may eat crops, but you can harvest and eat the locusts themselves, and there are so many.
India? Am I missing something or is this is an error in the text?
Looks like they rarely fly over water though: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1626356/
The same megaswarm was in Saudi Arabia a year ago.
It seems that the swarm has since split, with one swarm going back to Africa
That's enough to send a couple diplomats down there to give the locals the middle finger, not including airfare.
More recently, the UN FAO tracks outbreaks.
Certainly aware of crowd control sound weapons, I'd be supprised if the militaries of the world didn't have there own more powerful flavours begging for a PR test opportunity like this.
Seems curbing food downwind (tillage, fire?), prompting movement, and starving the swarm, might be a control method.
Something like how wildfire is controlled.
(Might have to do some due diligence eco-research to check, for instance, if the synthetic pheromone is specific enough)
Or use the Mormon defence: seagulls.
I'm having trouble finding articles, but basically they used to weave large nets and string them along places where insects gathered. It was basically land fishing.
I think people might be surprised to learn just how easy it was to thrive in hunter-gatherer societies. Salmon and shellfish were effectively unlimited, so if you knew which native plants to eat (like wild onions, carrots and especially camas where I'm from), you could meet all of your daily macronutrient and vitamin/mineral needs on 2 hours of work per day.
Edit: here's also a concise list of edible plants and herbs with their effects:
Anyone else up for a locust protein bar?
Locusts fly into them and get buzzed? Or something similar
Over millions and tens of millions of acres? Not doable. Maybe a genetic tweak and then release them to neutralize the rest. Poison will probably kill other beneficial or not so dangerous insects. Either way, a locust party will ruin this year crops for the unfortunate farmer being visited. This is even worst since Africa is already poor
Locusts are the only insect which is kosher, and this is most likely why.
But it is really hard to actually visualize/imagine these swarms without actually being there in one. The amount of infrastructure you would have to deploy essentially on a short term basis is really infeasible with current technology.
 Swarms are a function of environmental conditions, they grow exponentially but they die quickly when conditions change, it is the series of monsoons at the right time that have made this one so big. In "regular" years they are much smaller.
Also catching a substantial fraction of a swarm that is spread over a very very large area and moves by up to 150 km a day would be very hard, and is largely impossible currently.
And it could provide an indigenous economic stream, always a good thing in Africa.
I was thinking along the lines of fishing them as a food resources and drones with nets, but before I ran with that was wondering how well a drone would cope with such swarms and not something that the net did not offerup as a clear answer, either.
[EDIT ADD first paragraph ]
That being said regardless of the efficiency of such a solution I suspect that the scale of the invasion would make it hard to make a difference lest you have an army of drones at your disposal. The area to cover is insanely large.
[EDIT ADD] Indeed, if anything I should apologize as I'd left no context behind the question and leaving that open left the possibility of callous unthoughtfulness and you most kindly and rightly so, raised that aspect. Many would of just gone with a downvote - presumed the worst and ran with it in sillence, so again thank you for taking the time to question that. If I could mod you up more for that, I would.
[EDIT ADD - I was able to edit my initial reply as did seem you was being unfairly judged and I hope I've addressed that]
Swarm passes by, the kite netters have a couple tons of locusts netted, a good harvest.
on edit: personally like because has such a 50s sci-fi feel to it.
As for the Sci-fi, soon as you mentioned that I oddly thought of Dune, probably the rare resource mining aspect of such swarms and climate comparison going on there.
Hot air balloons dropping nets, or some weather balloons - again tethered. Though would probably want to run with hydrogen for costs, just safety and training go up, so greater initial costs there. So many details.
Kinda gets down to sky versions of submarine nets in predictable flight paths into crop area's as being the best spots to set such trapping nets up.
Though if it turns out you just need to lay down football sized green carpet and that attracts them - well that opens up other avenues in trapping or indeed - zapping them once they touch down.
Get out of here with your pre-judgement