The fight with locust begun in biblical times in Egypt and was going permanently as long as agriculture existed. Locust is a bad luck; it is not a coincidence that it was listed as a "plague of Egypt"; struggle with the locust is implacable and eternal, and always was under the special control of the authorities at all times and in all countries.
"The locusts flew, flew - and sat..." - so begins the legendary report of the business trip, which Alexander Pushkin, the great Russian poet, submitted to the authorities; he was sent to inspect the affected lands in southern Russia.
How people fought locusts when great chemistry has not reached its peak yet? They organized a battue: everybody gathered together, dug a hole, shoveled there annoying insects up and pelted with soil. On the picture is episode of the war with locusts in Turkestan, which included modern southern regions of Kazakhstan (photo 1912).
However, broom and shovel were not the only weapon in the hands of fighters with locusts. According to the observers of the middle of the XIX century, the fight against disaster in the southern regions of the Stepnoi region often had the character of local military operations. Thus, Kazalinsk, which was one of the most important bases of the Russian Empire on the Syrdarya, experienced a real siege by the hordes of locusts, which flew from the desert, in 1857 and 1859. Military prepared in advance to repulse the attack; they called soldiers off, built the pyramids of combustible herbs and even ... loaded the cannons. In addition, full-flowing and fast river was between the locust and fortification.
But ... what happened next reminds a summary from the battlefield. "Water turned into reddish-brown color and white foam swirled along this line, as if river ran against a floating obstacle... The first row has not been picked up by current yet, but new rows already piled on... Soon a living carpet got on this side and started coming up on the bank... Shots of guns and rifles, crackles of the drums and different weapons, screams and cries of a thousand voices, huge fires that broke out all along the bank, do not stop the invasion..."
Was the fight successful? A legendary report of Pushkin ended without optimism - "... It sat, ate everything - and flew farther." A lot of money were given, is given and will be given for fight with locusts in Kazakhstan.