Patna: Hundreds of people in a Bihar village are spending sleepless nights – not for fear of criminals but because of a rare insect species that has been attacking everything from humans to crops to animal fodder.
The small, black coloured insects, measuring about 5 mm, have created panic in Ranipokhar village of Vaishali district. "These insects suddenly attack and feast on grains, vegetable plants, fruit trees and wheat, mustard and potato crops. They also attack us like missiles inside and outside our homes," villager Girdhar Mahto said. Another villager, Nagina Singh, said some people had fled the village and some more were planning to move out to escape the terror of the insects. "All of us are afraid, they harm us," he said. One villager said: "We have never seen them before in our village or nearby."
Mahto said thousands of these insects converged on a century old tree near the village every night but in the mornings they started attacked crops. "The insects have attacked wheat and mustard crops," he said. The insects are flying all around and making it difficult to cook inside houses, or eat in the open and or even sit in the sun. They are even attacking animal fodder. "Shopkeepers in the village have shut down their shops to minimise losses," Singh said. Interestingly, villagers said pesticides were having no effect on the insects.