Why do locusts swarm, and how could they be stopped?

Locust swarms have caused massive damage to food growing in the fields, sometimes with devastating consequences for people who rely on the food. It was not clear why they did it, but new research published by scientists at three British universities could help explain.

Dr Christian Yates, a lecturer in Mathematical Biology at the University of Bath and the lead author of the report, said bombarding locusts with sound could help prevent them building the "critical mass" to swarm.

“Flying aeroplanes low over the head of swarms is another possible strategy to control them,” said Dr Yates on locust plagues.