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Locusts

Large group of insects that belong to the straight-winged insects (Orthoptera). The migratory, buzzard and thorny locusts are among the most dreaded plant pests. In the vineyard, they eat the leaves, young shoots and bark of young vines and can destroy entire vineyards in large numbers by defoliation. Today, they play a minor role as pests in Europe, but in the Middle Ages they were a dreaded and regularly occurring plague, as reported by numerous sources in many countries. Between 1338 and 1340, the insects, which came from Asia Minor, fell in the vineyards of Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria. According to a contemporary report, they arrived in such huge swarms that they darkened the sun and ate everything bare. In California and Australia, they still cause considerable damage today. Locusts are mainly controlled with insecticides. Because of their ability to jump and their similarity, the much more dangerous cicadas (leafhoppers) are often confused with the unrelated grasshoppers. See also under vine enemies.

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