Swarms of locusts occasionally visit the country; the locusts are eaten by the Basuto.
The great beauty and fertility of the country, as well as the charm of its climate, undoubtedly attracted, even in early ages, successive swarms of invaders from the north, who sometimes drove out the previous occupants of the most favored districts, at others reduced them to a state of serfdom, or settled down in the midst of them, until the two races gradually coalesced.
Like the Scyths they were pressed towards the west by yet newer swarms, and with the coming of the Huns Scythia enters upon a new cycle, though still keeping its old name in the Byzantine historians.
The chief method employed for their destruction is spraying the swarms with arsenic. The districts with the greatest area under cultivation are Heidelberg, Witwatersrand, Pretoria, Standerton and Krugersdorp. The chief crops grown for grain are wheat, maize (mealie) and kaffir corn, but the harvest is inadequate to meet local demands.
In about two hours the t2 Prussian battalions and 3 batteries found themselves assailed by upwards of 40 Austrian battalions and zoo guns, and against such swarms of enemies each man felt that retreat from the wood across the open meant annihilation.