Monday, October 01, 2012

Climate change keeping pests alive through winter

Climate change is not only causing crop-killing drought, but its increasing the longevity of at least one species of pest that can devastate potato, tomato, pepper and about 40 other crops. The potato-tomato psyllid, right, sucks plants dry and can spread "zebra chip" disease in potatoes that causes potato chips to have a burnt flavor, Gabriela Quiros of Quest. That disease has cost producers in three states about $8 million so far. (University of California photo by Jack Clark)

Farmers have dealt with psyllids for more than 100 years, but rises in temperature are allowing them to survive through winter. "Our temperatures have increased by 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit, and that seems to be enough to keep them from being frozen out during the winter,” said University of California, Riverside entomologist John Trumble. If pests can live through winter, they can attack crops early in the growing season, which could leave to even more widespread loss of crops because of the bugs, Trumble said. (Read more)

1 comment:

Pedro said...

I don't know why it happens? Maybe because of climatic change but seriously I hate when I have insects and pests almost in every season.. urrghh