Cold Wave Saving Israel From Locusts

"And He sent a blast of cold air, and the locusts plague receded" - a suggested Biblical description of Israel's victory over the locusts that have invaded for the first time in more than 50 years.

, | updated: 17:13

Although the ravaging insects were spotted as far north as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Sunday night, a sudden and severe cold wave has stopped the plague in its path. Agricultural experts are banking on the frigid air to send the millions of plant-eating creatures to warmer climates.

"Residents in the center of the country can relax," said Agricultural Ministry spokesman Eldad Lands. "Only a few locusts, and not swarms, have reached Tel Aviv. In this cold weather, locusts are not active. We are expecting strong winds and hope they will not be northerly."

Residents in Eilat and the western Negev still were nervous, and several farmers reported light damage to some crops Monday morning. Farmers and government workers joined forces to spray from the ground and the air during the pre-dawn hours, according to Dr. Tzvi Klein, an Agricultural Ministry expert.

Many Eilat residents panicked at the sight of hundreds of thousands of locusts descending on the city's parks and private gardens in search of food. Homeowners hired private exterminators after the city council learned that government policy prohibits spraying residential areas.

"The drop in temperatures is an advantage. We feel that things are under control," said Klein. He explained that locusts need warmth of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit to breed. Temperatures throughout the Israel dropped Monday into the 30s and 40s, and snow fell on Mount Hermon, the first November snowfall since 1986.

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