So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields.
~ Exodus 10:3-5
Crops have been damaged as millions of insects have swarmed from the south, making their way into Israel.
The plague of locusts is remembered by Jews worldwide as the Passover approaches. God brought the plagues upon Egypt as Moses was asking Pharaoh to release the Hebrews from slavery.
These swarms of locusts come sporadically with the last occurring eight years ago. Keith Cressman with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said that the insects were carried up in a weather system from the Sudan-Egypt border.
The largest concentration seems to have settled in the southern Negev desert, not far from the Egypt border, but grasshoppers the size of small birds have been reported in central and northern Israel.
Potato farmers say their fields are being ruined and drivers have been unable to see because of the insects flying toward their windshields.
Nader Noureddin, an agricultural expert told Al-Ahram: “One swarm of locusts can gobble up 100,000 tonnes of crops, an amount sufficient to feed 500,000 people for a whole year.”
Yahoo news reports that initial applications of pesticides have been successful but there is a “moderate” risk another swarm could reach southern Israel by the weekend.