An Insect-Pest Hitches A Ride To The United States
There are many insects inhabiting the United States right now, and not all of them are natives. You have probably heard about invasive insect-pests before, but you may have been at a loss when trying to figure out how nonnative bugs arrived in America from other countries across the ocean. Although many insects may prefer to fly Delta, the fact is that nearly all of the invasive insects in America got here by boat. Most of the time, when an insect pest is found in America, the pest originated from another country with a vastly different fauna. As a result of the dramatic shift in environmental conditions, not all nonnative insects arriving in America will live, but many do live, and breed, and basically cause a whole lot of problems, beginning with environmental and crop damage.
A highly destructive insect-pest was captured by agricultural officials in the city of Camden, New Jersey recently. The officials were inspecting over fifteen hundred shipping crates. Finding this bug would have been like you or me trying to find a needle in a haystack. So they either got pretty lucky, or they are just very good at their jobs. The pest was found within a container full of clementines. One crate was infested with what seemed to be hundreds of larvae. This larvae was produced by the Mediterranean fruit fly. All of the larvae were dead, except for just one.
There are insect-pests, and then there are insect-pests! And the Mediterranean fruit fly is a truly destructive menace of a bug. This insect-pest can cause a variety of different types of damage to fruit crops. So this insect-pest is good at destroying food in a multitude of different ways–great!
According to Kevin Donohue, acting port director for the Port of Philadelphia, if the Mediterranean fruit fly were to prosper in the United States, then the economic devastation would be catastrophic. During the year of 1989, the state of California lost billions of dollars as a result of crop damage caused by the Mediterranean fruit fly. Lets just hope the shipping inspectors found every bit of this flies’ larvae.
Which invasive-insect do you think has caused a significant amount of damage in the United States?