Attack of The Mutants

A sci-fi type story is under production in the Capital of India.
It started over a month ago but the attack on New Delhi has not stopped. Wave after wave of flying mutants have been attacking the city each day. The mutants in question are The Brown Planthopper or Nilaparvata lugens. The main diet of the pest is Rice plants. Hindustan Times(A national newspaper) published a story about these insects and their attack on Delhi. What caused such an increase in the population of the Hopper.

Rice cultivation has increased in the neighboring state of Haryana in the last few years. This has lead to many problems for the Delhi-ites, including water shortage as the State government of Haryana doesn’t provide adequate water because the Rice crop needs a lot water. This new problem arises due to the misuse of Urea and other Nitrogen based fertilizers and insecticides by the farmers. These not only help the plant but also increase the potential reproductive capacity of the Planthopper. As would be expected their population increased exponentially. To curb this menace the farmers used a large amount of pesticides. The Pesticides killed the natural predators of the hopper i.e spiders, frogs, wasps, dragonflies etc, thus disturbing the natural cycle. Moreover the pest developed and immunity to the insecticides and came out victorious. So after the crops matured and the rice grains were removed, what do the unemployed hoppers do.Like Godzilla and all good movie monsters they invade a big city and the nearest was Delhi.
They are everywhere. When you switch on a light, five minutes later 100’s are flying around the light unless you keep all your doors and windows locked. No insect repellent or insecticide is working on them due to their mutant powers. In some areas the swarm is so dense that they blanket the sky. There is nor rice crop for them to eat so they will eventually die out because of starvation but still they are a nuisance. Just imagine living between a swarm of insects.

This shows the effect of humans in disturbing the natures cycles. Human activities have been responsible for so many ill effects on nature. The excessive use of insecticides not only killed the Hopper’s predators but the crops over which it was sprayed now contains a lot of harmful toxins. Are chemicals necessary to increase crop production. Organic methods are far better way to increase crop production. Also the farmers should be taught more cleaner methods of farming.
Some methods listed in the various agricultural sites in the World Wide Web include, avoiding early season insecticide spray, but mainly the population of the Hoppers is controlled by the natural biological control agents i.e their predators.

So why don’t we just step back and let mother nature do its work instead of nosing around and disturbing the balance.


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