Agriculture Ministry inspectors deploy in southern Israel to fight locusts

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Agriculture Ministry inspectors armed with drones and pesticides fan out in southern Israel from Eilat on the Red Sea to the Negev to identify locusts, which have entered the Arava desert in the south of the country and have also been spotted in Syria, near the Golan Heights.

Westerly winds from the Mediterranean helped sweep some of the insects into Jordan on Monday but toward the evening, a “massive stream” flew from Jordan into the central Arava district, in southern Israel, the ministry reports.

The Food and Agriculture Organization meanwhile informs Israeli authorities that small groups of mature locusts were spotted in the Quneitra area of Syria.

The last major locust infestation in Israel was in 2013. At that time, ministry inspectors sprayed pesticides from the ground and the air, daily, around the clock, helping to prevent major damage to crops.

File: Thousands of locusts seen in Halutza in southern Israel on May 15, 2013 (Dror Garti/Flash90)
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed