Video: Prophet’s Mosque in Saudi’s Madinah infested by swarms of crickets

Authorities are carrying our fumigation procedures on a daily basis across the city



The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, which has been infested with black crickets, is now being cleared of the insects through several means, officials have said.

The general presidency for the mosque said it was working in cooperation with the municipality, the health and agriculture ministries to combat the swarms of black crickets.

Images shared by the municipality showed the insects infesting several parts of the city.

Officials said spraying of pesticides and fumigation is being carried out twice a day across the city to combat the infestation.

More than 150 municipality employees have been deployed to spray the areas around the Prophet’s Mosque with pesticides and collect the dead crickets in special bags, local daily Saudi Gazette reported.

The movement of the insects on the roof of the mosque is also monitored, with the domes closed to prevent them from getting inside.

Lights around the mosque have also been reduced, since they attract the crickets, the report said. The presidency has also arranged for a team to monitor the gates with special vacuum machines to clear out the insects.

They also filled the gaps inside the mosque’s walls and pillars with silicon to prevent the bugs from hiding inside.

Saudi Arabia has seen an outbreak of locusts and black crickets intermittently since the start of this year after the insects moved from Eritrea and Sudan along both sides of the Red Sea to Saudi and Egypt.

“Good rains along the Red Sea coastal plains in Eritrea and Sudan have allowed two generations of breeding since October, leading to a substantial increase in locust populations and the formation of highly mobile swarms,” the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said in February.

At least one swarm had crossed to the northern coast of Saudi Arabia in mid-January, it said.

Read: UN warns of locust outbreak spreading across Saudi Arabia

Images circulated in January showed swarms of black crickets covering the Grand Mosque in Saudi’s Makkah. They were later cleared up through fumigation.

Adult locust swarms can fly up to 150 km a day with the wind and adult insects can consume roughly their own weight in fresh food per day.

Read: Makkah clears up swarms of black crickets at the Grand Mosque, across the city