A picture of a True Locust
Photo by:
David G. Fox/Oxford Scientific Films
Locust (insect), common name applied to a number of jumping insects and especially to the true locusts, which are migratory grasshoppers. The true locusts cause great damage to crops wherever they swarm. Control measures include the spreading of poison bait and the plowing under of locust eggs. Infestations threatening large regions of the United States are combated with insecticides sprayed by planes and truck-mounted mist blowers provided by joint federal-state programs.

Aside from the true locusts, the periodical cicada is another important insect to which the name locust is applied. Grouse, or pygmy, locusts are small, jumping insects that are of little economic importance. Most species are dark brown and are less than 2.5 cm (less than 1 in) in length.

Scientific classification: Locusts belong to the order Orthoptera. True locusts belong to the family Acrididae. Grouse, or pygmy, locusts belong to the family Tetrigidae.

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