Officials in Argentina are bracing for what may be a historic onslaught of locusts as the insects' population has exploded over the last year.
Despite efforts to eliminate the pests, their numbers have only increased and now the locusts are poised to begin feasting on Argentina's crops.
One expert lamented that it is the worst outbreak the country has seen in 60 years and that trying to stop it now is an exercise in futility.
"It's impossible to eradicate; the plague has already established itself. We’re just acting to make sure it's the smallest it can be and does the least damage possible," Diego Quiroga told the New York Times.
Researchers blame the past few moderate and rainy winters in Argentina for creating a climate where such insects can flourish.
As of now, proactive farmers and wildlife officials are attempting to quell the locust uprising by fumigating large swaths of land and killing any immature insects which cannot yet fly.
However, their time is running short and in a few days many of the young locusts are expected to sprout wings and take to the air with an eye on Argentina's farmland.
At that point, more dramatic steps will have to be taken before the country is overrun by massive clouds of hungry locusts leaving little in their wake.
Source: New York Times