A swarm of locusts is set to devastate parts of East Africa. This swarm is up to 20 times the size of the one that hit only 2 months ago. Locusts are related to grasshoppers, but locusts swarm and can fly long distances.
A swarm of desert locusts can spread over 460 miles. By some estimates, as many as 80 million locusts can fit into a half-mile. They can eat their weight in plants each day. So, a swarm of that size and density can devour more than 420 million pounds of plants in 24 hours. When food runs out, they cannibalize each other.
The timing for this swarm is linked to an unusually wet season, which has allowed locusts to breed. The insects follow spring rains and eat any crops in their path. This locust plague could make an already bad food scarcity problem in Africa even worse. Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, and other neighboring countries are all at risk.