Israel on 6 March 2013 began battling a swarm of locusts from Egypt to prevent crop damage in the south of the country. Locust clouds darkened skies some three weeks before the Jewish Passover holiday that recalls 10 Biblical plagues, one of them locusts, that struck Egypt during the exodus of Israelite slaves. The insects covered nearly 2,000 acres of desert overnight, officials said. Israel sprayed pesticides from the air and land to try to kill them in the early morning before dew on their wings dried and they could take off again. Locusts, which wreak havoc by eating crops, last invaded southern Israel in 2004.