Dead locusts at a farm after pesticide spraying by Rajasthan Agricultre department team on locust swarms in Jarmunda Village, Jamva Ramgarh Tehsil of Jaipur district, Friday, May 29, 2020. Image Credit: PTI

Nagpur: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has asked people to burst firecrackers and beat drums to prevent attacks by locust swarms.

The Minister took stock of the locust situation in Katol constituency.

Speaking to farmers, he said: "Whenever locust swarms attack, villagers should be alert. Locust attacks can be avoided by bursting firecrackers, the smoke of burning tires or if drums are played."

Earlier, Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse said that around 50 per cent locust swarms were killed in the state by the Agriculture Department.

"Around 50 per cent locust swarms were killed in Maharashtra by the agriculture department. Fire brigade vehicles are being used for spraying insecticides. We are providing chemicals/insecticides to farmers free of cost in the affected areas," Bhuse said.

Locust swarms have entered Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, threatening major damage to standing cotton crops and vegetables, said a spokesperson of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, adding that Rajasthan is the most affected state.

The desert locust is a swarming short-horned grasshopper. They are known to devour everything in their path, posing an unprecedented threat to food supply and livelihoods of millions of people.