Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year

04.10.2016

Ecologists have estimated that invasive (non-native) insects cost humanity tens of billions of dollars a year – and are likely to increase under climate change and growing international trade.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia and CNRS and Paris-Sud University in France have compiled the first comprehensive and robust database of the global economic costs of invasive insects ─ but say estimates are likely to be greatly under-estimated because of the lack of research into costs in many parts of the world.


Credit: Dimitri Geystor (France)

One of the most destructive pests of hardwood trees, the Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar).

Previous estimates have been “spatially incomplete and of questionable quality”.

Published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers report a minimum US$70billion a year cost globally to goods and services, and more than US$6.9 billion a year on health costs of invasive insects.

“Most of the damage to human industry occurs in agriculture and forestry ─ damage and loss of production but also costs of clean-up, eradication and prevention,” says Professor Corey Bradshaw, Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change at the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute. “But billions of dollars are spent on the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases like dengue, West Nile virus and chikungunya disease spread by insects that have invaded other countries.”

Among the costly insects are the Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) transported worldwide from eastern Asia and capable of consuming as much as 400 g of wood a day, and the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), of Eurasian origin, which is one of the most destructive pests of hardwood trees.

The researchers report that these costs are probably just “the tip of the largely unseen and unmeasured iceberg” because many regions of the world, such as Africa and South America, have yet to measure and estimate many of these costs.

Correcting for minimal sampling bias could bring total annual global costs of invasive insects as high as US$270 billion.

“Ultimately, the average citizen pays for most of these costs, but we can generally reduce the costliest sorts of damage by investing in better detection and early eradication measures,” says Professor Bradshaw.

The researchers say that costs are also likely to increase.

“There are two main phenomena leading to an increased frequency of introductions and potentially expanding distributions of the costliest insect invaders: international trade and global warming,” says Dr Franck Courchamp, Senior CNRS Researcher at Systematic Ecology and Evolution Laboratory (CNRS/Paris-Sud University/AgroParisTech).

“In addition to improving guidelines for estimating the full costs of invasive insects, vigilant planning, public-awareness campaigns and community participation could potentially relieve society of billions of dollars of annual expense, and reduce a great deal of human suffering.”

The research was supported by Foundation BNP Paribas, ANR InvaCost and the Australian Research Council.

Media Contact:

Professor Corey Bradshaw, University of Adelaide, Mobile: +61 (0) 400 697 665, corey.bradshaw@adelaide.edu.au

Dr Franck Courchamp, CNRS, Mobile: +33 16915 5685, franck.courchamp@u-psud.fr

Robyn Mills, Media Officer, Phone: +61 8 8313 6341, Mobile: +61 (0)410 689 084, robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au

Robyn Mills | newswise

Further reports about: CNRS West Nile virus economic costs global warming gypsy moth insects

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht New mathematical model can help save endangered species
14.01.2019 | University of Southern Denmark

nachricht Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

Im Focus: Mission completed – EU partners successfully test new technologies for space robots in Morocco

Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.

Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new twist on a mesmerizing story

17.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics

17.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

Drones shown to make traffic crash site assessments safer, faster and more accurate

17.01.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>