We’ve all heard the phrase, “like a swarm of locusts” used as a metaphor for…
We’ve all heard the phrase, “like a swarm of locusts” used as a metaphor for an in-rushing crowd of people – but how many of us have seen a real swarm of locusts?
The U.S. Census Bureau reminds us that a very real swarm descended upon the middle part of the U.S. more than 140 years ago.
It was July 1874 when the largest swarm of Rocky Mountain Locusts ever recorded blackened the skies from the Dakotas to Texas, and began to feast on America’s farms.
The moving swarm was estimated to cover almost 200,000 square miles.
Like something out of the Old Testament, 12.5 trillion locusts ate not only crops, but also leather, paint, clothing and the wool off of living sheep.
The plague ended on July 30th, and subsequent swarms were much smaller. In fact, the last living Rocky Mountain locust was noted in 1902.
Such a phenomenon today would still be overwhelming, but some 100,000 Americans work in nearly 14,000 extermination and pest control establishments to combat smaller infestations.