Giant locusts are now causing damage and anxiety in parts of northern Italy. In the summer of 2004 swarms of these insects arrived in the southern regions of Puglia, Basilicata and Reggio Emilia where they are still causing problems. This year it is the turn of Piedmonte in the north west of the country where locusts have even been found in the streets of Turin.

The experts say that the insects are thriving in the unusual heat this summer, having arrived in the country from northern Africa in the very hot summer of 2003, when huge areas of the countryside became the ideal breeding ground for the insects. Experts say that if the numbers of locusts now in Italy are to return to normal limits the country will need two or three cooler summers.