Pest Problems Around The World – Surprise, They’re Annoying In Every Language
Pests and bugs seem overwhelming; it often feels like there isn’t any escaping from a potential infestation, invasion or the need to “bug proof” your home. But – not all areas across the globe are the same when it comes to problems homeowners might face. Since there are unique bug populations in different continents and countries, that leads to unique issues not everyone gets to see. We often focus on what’s happening here in Wisconsin and Michigan, so we figured we’d take break and look at pest problems around the world for a different perspective on pest control.
The Asian Tiger Mosquito
In fact, a recent headline in The Telegraph finds experts have labeled silverfish as “Britain’s Most Prolific Pest”. The Telegraph’s report comes from a recent finding by The National Trust, a charity, which found the bug was the “Most often seen pest in properties in 2019”.
Silverfish, while also found in the United States, are particularly an issue in Britain’s collections of historic properties according to The Telegraph’s report. Other pests that The Trust calls attention to are the Australian spider beetle and book lice – two bugs that are bigger issues across the pond than in the United States.
Speaking of the United States – a pest that appeared in our country nearly 40 years ago is also a problem worldwide. The Asian tiger mosquito, according to The University of California, Riverside, arrived in shipments of used tires to the United States back in the mid-80’s. Those tires came from Northern Asia. The mosquito and can survive in a broad range of climates and countries across the globe, including: South America, Africa, India, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. In the United States, The University of California Riverside says they have spread to: “…more than 900 counties in 26 states in the continental USA as well as Hawaii.”
These mosquitoes are VERY dangerous to people; The US National Library of Medicine reports: “It is known to transmit pathogens and viruses, such as the yellow fever virus, dengue fever, Chikungunya fever, and Usutu virus.” There is even some evidence that shows they have a hand in transmitting the Zika virus.
The Locust Swarm
A big issue in the Greater Middle East last year were locusts. A report by Al Jazeera found the war in Yemen was preventing authorities from dealing with locusts, which threatened Pakistan’s most treasured cotton crop. The Al Jazeera report says cotton makes up nearly 23 percent of Pakistan’s entire crop, accounted for $11.7 billion of the country’s exports in 2018, and is one of the country’s main employers.
What’s unique and dangerous about the species of grasshoppers is when low in numbers, they do not pose a serious threat; but when they are in the right environment, they develop into swarms – and their behavior changes. The BBC reports locust swarms are charged by serotonin when they are in large numbers, also known as their “Gregarious” phase: “Culminating in an aggressive swarm”. Efforts to control their numbers and prevent them from getting into this so-called “Gregarious” phase were halted because of the war in Yemen.
Whiteflies – A Worldwide Crop Killer
Now to a problem pest that, quite literally, affects the ENTIRE world – except for Antarctica. They’re called whiteflies; and they can cost millions of dollars in crop losses across the globe, according to the Encyclopedia of Entomology. The Encyclopedia writes: “In the past decade, [whiteflies] have become one of the most serious crop protection problems in the tropics and subtropics…Several species of whitefly cause crop losses through direct feeding, while others are important in virus transmission.” Experts also find that they are behind mold growth, which seriously hurts farmers who are trying to process cotton harvests.
Bug issues are not unique to the United States. Everyone has pests that can hurt their economy as well as become a nuisance in their homes. Some of these examples barely scratch the surface of the biggest pest problems around the world that each country faces every day. Recognizing them is the first step in trying to control those that are more harmful versus those that are just inconvenient.