Video: Riyadh farm blanketed by dead locusts after Saudi ministry intervenes

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Billions of dead locusts have covered areas of Saudi Arabia after hordes of the insect took over the skies, prompting the Kingdom’s Ministry of Environment to intervene to save farmland from the destructive swarm.

One video showed a farm in the Marat district of Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh covered in dead locusts. According to the video, shared by Twitter user Mohammed al-Shomrani, ministry officials intervened after the two kilometer farm was threatened by a swarm of locusts on Sunday.

The desert locusts – whose destructive infestations cause major crop damage – are a species of grasshopper that live largely solitary lives until a combination of conditions promotes breeding and leads them to form massive swarms.

Videos from Najran, Saudi Arabia, went viral after residents shared footage of swarms of locusts, said to be in the billions, taking over the skies of the southern city.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated at the end of January that a locust control plan would cost $76 million across East Africa.

According to the FAO, countries most affected by the locust situation are Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia but added other countries were at risk too.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture said it was able to fumigate against the Desert Locust in an area of about 140,255 hectares in the regions of Mecca, al-Baha, Asir, Jazan and Hail, through 76 field teams and 18 exploration teams. The ministry said it also fumigated against nearly 15,475 hectares of desert locust in the targeted areas during the period from January 1-15.

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