Illustration for article titled Liberia Declares Emergency After Massive Worm Invasion

The worst invasion of army worms in decades has reduced Liberia's farms to ruins in a matter of days. Now the worms are menacing neighboring countries.


Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said her country would be doing aerial spraying of the army worms, but it may be too late to prevent their spread to Sierra Leone and Guinea. The worms are actually a breed of caterpillars that can lay 500-1000 eggs at a time - which means they can devastate an entire crop in 48 hours. And it's not just crops that are affected. Streams and ponds that locals depend on for water have been completely polluted by worm feces.

This story is similar to ones we've heard recently about jellyfish swarms.


It's unclear whether the army worm invasion is simply a cyclic infestation or whether there might be other environmental causes. In the meantime, Johnson-Sirleaf has asked for aid from the U.N. to combat the creatures, whose destruction of the food and water supplies have already affected hundreds of thousands of people.

via BBC News

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