Record Heat Leads to Increase in Insect Population

Tuesday, 24 Jul 2012 10:16 AM

By Katie Lotman

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Throughout the United States, the heat and aridity that have defined the summer have lent themselves to an increase in insect population. Unusually high temperatures have caused bugs to more rapidly reproduce and develop, causing pests to arrive earlier in the season and in greater quantities, reports USA Today.

"We're calling it a breeding bonanza," said Missy Henriksen of the National Pest Control Association.

The increase in insects is a nuisance to the average American; however farmers fear that their crops including alfalfa, tobacco, and some vegetables will be compromised due to the greater number of insects such as grasshoppers who feed on them, according to Lee Townsend, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky.

The number of mosquitos has also increased, particularly in Florida and Texas, who have seen warm and wet weather throughout the year. As a result, forty-seven human West Nile virus cases, including one fatality, have been reported to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

As drought and heat are projected into the fall, experts expect continued increases in pests until the temperature drops.


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