Farmers have always been concerned with the insect life that is active within their crops. Some insect pests are native to America, and others are not. Insect pests that originate from other countries are particularly devastating to many forms of plant life here in America. This is because foreign insects do not have any natural predators in America, which allows foreign insects to build enormous populations. These large insect pest populations can become difficult to control. Now, with the current reality of climate change, some regions of the US could experience an influx of certain insect pests. For example, insects that commonly thrive in the south could move northward as the climate gradually warms.
According to a recent report issued by various academics, the economic impact that invasives have on the American economy equals about 27.3 billion dollars. That is a lot of money, but many experts think that this estimation may be lowballing it. Measuring the impact that invasives have in America can be difficult to determine monetarily. Most cost estimates are regionally focused, and this is problematic because invasives have a variable economic impact in each region where they are found. So trying to nail down an exact dollar amount of damage caused by invasives can be next to impossible to pull off.
The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) is one of the most well known of all insect pests that are active within the US. This beetle arrived in the US decades ago within a shipping crate. The shipments had been imported from China. Ever since this beetle arrived in the US it has destroyed many different types of hardwood trees. Some researchers believe that this beetle’s environment and population could expand to include new and unaffected regions of the US. If this beetle species were to find its way into New York, then millions of acres of trees could be lost. This would be devastating to New York’s maple syrup industry. And a world without maple syrup from New York is not worth living in!
Have you ever revisited a region that you had not seen for a long time only to discover that insect pests had destroyed much of the plant life in the region?