Massive swarms of locusts in southern Russia are invading farmlands, destroying crops and devastating farmer’s livelihoods.
Russia’s Agricultural Ministry has declared a state of emergency in the region as millions of insects quickly devour thousands of hectares of corn and other crops, CNN reports.
“In Kalmikya, Astrakhan, Volgagrad, and Dagestan, there is already no food left for the locusts, so they have moved on to other sources of food,” Tatiana Drishcheva of the Russia Agricultural Center, told CNN.
Since the plague began in July, the locusts, which measure about 8 c.m. long, have destroyed 10% of crops in the affected areas.
Russian officials have responded by increasing the amount of aerial pesticides used, but frustrated locals say it is not effective.
Though swarms of locusts descend on this part of southern Russia every year, locals say they have not seen it this bad in 30 years. State broadcasters are blaming higher than unusual temperatures and recent flooding.