A 100,000-strong squad of birds will be sent into Pakistan, which has declared an emergency with its biggest plague in 20 years
An air force of ducks will be deployed to see off a ground invasion of locusts threatening to invade China from neighbouring Pakistan.
A 100,000-strong squad will be sent into Pakistan, which has declared an emergency with its biggest plague in 20 years.
A duck can eat more than 200 locusts a day, compared with chickens which can manage just 70 – and they make for more disciplined fighters.
Lu Lizhi of the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China described the ducks as “biological weapons”.
He added: “Ducks like to stay in a group so they are easier to manage than chickens.”
A trial will take place in the coming months, after which they will be sent to Pakistan’s Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab provinces.
Heavy rains in the Arabian Peninsula last year led to huge swarms which have spread into South Asia and East Africa and can eat as much in a day as about 35,000 people.
Lu Lizhi, a senior researcher with the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, explained that chickens are also an option – but they can only manage 70 locusts in a day.
He told Chinese media: “Ducks like to stay in a group so they are easier to manage than chickens.”
The ducks will be sent to Pakistan later this year.
Pakistan reported the swarms of locusts were menacing wheat crops after already destroying cotton crops last year.
Recently, parts of Arica have also been ravaged by locust outbreaks.
U.N. agencies warned of a ‘major hunger threat’ in East Africa from the flying pests.
In 2000, China sent 30,000 ducks from Zhejiang province to Xinjiang to battle a locust infestation.