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Desert Locust Plagues and Upsurges


Outbreaks developed in the autumn of 2003 in northwestern Mauritania, northern Mali, Niger and northeastern Sudan as a result of good rainfall and breeding during the summer. A few swarms moved into southern Morocco and adults moved into southern Algeria and Egypt.
A regional upsurge affected countries along the Red Sea. It developed as a result of a cyclone in June 1996 and heavy rains in November. Infestations were primarily concentrated in Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, northern Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Large-scale control operations in Saudi Arabia brought the upsurge to an end by the summer of 1998.
An upsurge developed in the Red Sea basin and eventually spread to South-West Asia (controlled in 1993) and to West Africa (controlled by early 1997).
  • 1987-89 plague
The last plague to affect countries from West Africa to India. Locusts originating in western Sudan rapidly increased in number in Western Sahara in late 1987 and eventually spread throughout the Sahel, Arabia and South-West Asia. The plague came to an end in 1989 as a result of control operations, a spectacular migration from West Africa to the Caribbean, and a failure of the rains.


A service provided by the Migratory Pests Group to monitor the world-wide locust situation and keep
affected countries and donors informed of expected developments.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Rome, Italy

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