After creating a menace in around 5 states, swarms of locust species have now entered Tamil Nadu. They have attacked bananas, rubber, and other crops in parts of plantation dominated districts of Tamil Nadu.
Farmers in Kanyakumari district bordering Kerala have claimed that the 'locusts' have ravaged the banana and rubber crops to a large extent.
However, the state government on Saturday said these were native grasshoppers and not desert locusts. An expert committee from the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University that conducted an inspection in Nilgiris and Krishnagiri districts found that the species which affected the crops in the districts in the Western Ghats region were local grasshoppers.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami said that there were nearly 250 species of grasshoppers in the state and they don't pose any major threat to the crops. He also stated that Tamil Nadu was not a breeding ground for the desert locust.
In the last few days, coffee grasshopper, Bombay locust and the Crytacanthacris Tartarica, were spotted in Tamil, Nadu. They are a type of grasshoppers that were mistaken for the desert locust in the state.
The Tamil Nadu government has advised farmers to use bioinsecticides like neemseed oil to protect agriculture and horticulture crops.
Locusts, popularly known as ''tiddi dal'', are short-horned grasshoppers that feed on crops. So far, locusts have spread across Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra.