A man working for the Ministry of Agriculture sprays insecticide onto an area of land crawling with vast numbers of desert locusts. The insects have swarmed into Kenya from Somalia and Ethiopia, destroying farmland and crops. The yellow locust is mature and, while not so voracious as the pink-coloured and still growing instars (nymphs), is ready for mating and laying the eggs that will produce the next generation. These are born two weeks after laying with each female producing approximately 200 nymphs which will mature and lay eggs about 20 - 25 days after hatching.
According to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) the current locust invasion, when an entire region is affected, is known as an 'upsurge'. However, if it gets worse and cannot be contained, over a year or more, it would become what is known as a 'plague' of locusts.