JERUSALEM -- The invasion of billions of locusts from North Africa has been ongoing here for three months. Israel’s hi-tech agriculturalists have tried everything in their fight against this modern day plague of sorts.
Israel’s Agricultural Ministry has been helping desert farmers by spraying pesticides to deter the ever-growing swarm of grasshopper-like pests that have ruined most everything in their path from Africa to the Mediterranean.
This latest batch of locusts first arrived here in March, ironically just before Passover, which marks the biblical story of 10 plagues God sent via Moses to force the Egyptians to relinquish their control over the people of Israel. A swarm of locusts was plague number eight.
Modern-day scientists, however, offer another explanation for this year’s arrival, suggesting that their influx into Israel this spring stems more from unusually low winter temperatures near the Sudan-Egypt border and winds from a low-pressure system that moved them eastward.
According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the damage already caused by the insects to the Sudanese and Egyptian farming industries totals millions of dollars.
With such responses being no match for these powerful creatures, resilient Israelis have found other ways to fight back, including cooking up the nutritious insects, which, it turns out are not only a crunchy, healthy snack but are also kosher.