China uses drones to attack locust swarms

Business & Technology

A broad swath of countries from Kenya to Pakistan to Laos has been dealing with huge swarms of locusts this summer. China is the latest victim.

In response to recent swarms of locusts that have devoured acres of crops in southwest China, authorities in Yunnan have dispatched more than 50 fleets of pesticide-spraying drones throughout the province.

Yellow-spined bamboo locusts, native to China and Southeast Asia, have been sweeping through Yunnan Province this July after migrating from neighboring countries, notably Laos.

This summer, they have caused a greater amount of damage than in years past, wiping out more than 8,900 hectares of land.

  • China has not been the only country hit by the locust plague. Earlier this year, countries in East Africa were invaded by desert locusts, leading to significant food shortages.
  • Pakistan has also been battling these pests and issued a national emergency in February. China recently donated 12 drones to aid in Pakistan’s pest control efforts.

Rising global temperatures contribute to the increased severity of the locust problem this year.

  • Locust eggs are surviving through the winter and hatching in large quantities once the warm weather arrives.
  • An increase in rainfall and moisture creates ideal breeding conditions and leads to their rapid reproduction.