Israel asks Egypt to control red locusts

jerusalem (ap) | Israel has called on Egypt to take steps to control swarms of red locusts that have invaded southern Israel.

The locusts originated in West Africa and traveled over Libya and Egypt. They began moving into Israel on Nov. 19 from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, entering the southern city of Eilat and nearby areas of the Negev desert, consuming plants and trees and threatening crops.

Israeli Agriculture Minister Yisrael Katz said he sent a message to his Egyptian counterpart requesting that Egypt fight the insects, and offering to supply spray planes, equipment and know-how.

“If the issue is not taken care of in Egypt, it will be extremely difficult to block the mass of locusts,” Katz said.

There was no immediate comment from Egyptian authorities.

Locusts normally live between two and six months and eat about 0.07 ounces in crops every day. They can travel 120 miles a day.

Witnesses called the Israeli Agriculture Ministry on saying they had sighted the pestilence as far north as Jerusalem and the northern port city of Haifa, Israel Radio said.