ASU’s Global Locust Initiative engages key actors in locust research and management to develop research, partnerships, and solutions for transboundary pest management in agroecosystems around the world.
Locusts and grasshoppers (together, Acrididae) have a long history of coexisting with humans, but acridid outbreaks and their management continue to have devastating impacts on human livelihoods and the environment.
Desert Locust Outbreak
Outbreaks of the Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria) are raging throughout East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and parts of southwest Asia threatening the food security and livelihoods of millions. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, UN) predicts outbreaks will continue to increase and spread and is calling for global support.
South American Locust Outbreak
The South American Locust (Schistocerca cancellata) is experiencing its largest population upsurge in 60 years, expanding beyond its permanent breeding zone in northwest Argentina to Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil causing national emergencies.
Locusts are among the most economically significant crop pests on many continents
- For example, $450 million USD was required to stop the 2003-2005 desert locust plague in Africa that caused $2.5 billion USD in crop damage
- Locusts feed on many crops including cereal crops important to global food security
- During a plague year, locusts impact 1 in 10 people and cover 20% of earth’s land surfaces