Swarming Locusts Descend on Egypt

Why these creatures band together into swarms that can number in the millions.

"Ancient Egyptian plagues!" one eyewitness joked. (Video: "Plagues: Fact or Faith?")

Mostly a nuisance to city dwellers, the swarms were just passing through on their spring migration, a spokesman from the Ministry of Agriculture said. He urged Cairo residents not to set tires on fire in an effort to disperse the insects. "It will not drive them away, but will only cause damage," he warned.

The swarms posed a bigger threat to nearby farms and orchards, where they could damage or destroy crops. Researchers from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, who have been tracking the build up of desert locusts in southeast Egypt since November, warned that the size of the swarms this year were larger than normal—by some estimates

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