Officials have declared a state of emergency in southern Russia where millions of locusts have terrorized farmlands. An area of at least 800 hectares is currently plagued with the insects, who are threatening to wipe out farmer's crops. At least 10% of crops have already been destroyed, and the feeding frenzy is far from over, officials say.

Russian news broadcasts are associating the plague with climate change on state television, linking it to recent flooding due to higher than normal temperatures. Most efforts to save the harvests and defeat the locusts are seen as futile. Tatiana Drishcheva of the Russian Agricultural Center said, "They have wingspans of nearly 12 centimeters, like small sparrows."

Facts about locusts:

 Locusts are the swarming phase of a certain species of short-horned grasshoppers.

 Grasshoppers are innocuous in small numbers. But when drought followed by rapid vegetation growth happens in their habitat, serotonin levels in their brains soar, causing them to breed rapidly.

 Locusts can be eaten. They are considered a delicacy in some countries.

 Cover image: Wikimedia