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      Officials: Locusts Set to Invade Center of the Country

      Things are heating up in Israel, and unfortunately that's good for locusts, which officials believe are poised to invade the Sharon
      By David Lev
      First Publish: 3/11/2013, 9:08 PM

      Locust invasion
      Locust invasion
      Flash90

      Things are heating up in Israel, and unfortunately that's good for locusts. As a major heat wave (sharav) is set to strike Israel this week, authorities are preparing for a major invasion of Egyptian-origin locusts, many of which could reach the center of the country.

      As Agricultural Ministry officials ordered more pesticide spraying of swarms of locusts Monday morning, several more large groups entered Israel from Sinai – ironically, Ministry officials said, above the Kerem Shalom crossing on the Gaza/Sinai border. The new swarm was likely to attack agricultural areas in southern Israel, as several swarms already in the country Sunday had done.

      However, said officials, the plague could get much worse; the hot weather expected during the rest of the week was the “perfect storm” for a major invasion of locusts in the Sharon, and perhaps even further north. Southern winds will carry the swarms, and the winds will raise the temperatures in Israel significantly, making it easier for the locusts to jump, officials said.

      Temperatures are expected to hover around 30 degrees Centigrade (about 90 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the week, with the height of the heat coming on Friday, with forecasters predicting temperatures as high as 36 degrees Centigrade (about 97 degrees Fahrenheit).

      Spraying will resume Monday night in the hope of turning back at least some of the winged invaders, Ministry officials said.