Millions of locusts invade Israel

March 6, 2013 at 5:39 AM

JERUSALEM, March 6 (UPI) -- Israeli Agricultural Ministry personnel resumed spraying millions of locusts with pesticides in southern Israel Wednesday, officials said.

A large swarm of locusts darkened the skies over southern Israel Tuesday afternoon as the insects landed in fields across the Negev, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars damage, Israel Radio reported.

After nightfall, the Ministry of Agriculture sprayed about 4 square miles where the locusts settled for the night. Officials said they would resume spraying the area Wednesday.

The swarms of locusts were described as the largest infestation in decades, The Times of Israel said. Residents were instructed to remain indoors and close windows and shutters.

The locusts aren't expected to reach central Israel's populated areas due to a cold front that should force the insects south, The Times of Israel said. However Israel Radio said preparations should be made in the event the locusts head north.

Additional swarms of locusts crossed into Egypt from Sudan Tuesday heading toward Aswan, al-Masry al-Youm said.

In the Gaza Strip, farmers were instructed to close hothouses and residents told to shut windows and doors of their homes.

The Israeli Agricultural Ministry issued a locust alert Tuesday after the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization reported large swarms of locusts in Egypt.

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